MALACCA: DAP acting secretary-general M. Kulasegaran will give up his post after the party national congress in Ipoh next week.
He said he was finding it difficult to handle the party job because he was also a practising lawyer and an MP.
“I have already indicated my intention as I am unable to cope with my work as a politician and practising lawyer,” he said.
According to observers, his decision clears the path for former Kota Melaka MP Lim Guan Eng, who has returned to active politics, to take up the position.
Kulasegaran, who is DAP MP for Ipoh Barat, said chairman Lim Kit Siang and other party leaders had urged him to continue to hold the post.
“I told them that the post should be held by a full-time politician to concentrate on party matters,” he said.
He said previous secretaries-general like Devan Nair, Kit Siang, Kerk Kim Hock and two acting secretaries-general, Fan Yew Teng and Chong Eng, were full-time politicians.
“I am fully committed to the party and am contesting for a place in the 20-member central executive committee (CEC) but I also have to look into my bread and butter,” Kulasegaran said.
He said Kit Siang had also briefed the party leaders on his intention to step down from the top post after being in the front line for 35 years.
“Kit Siang's intention is to allow more young blood to come into the party. The CEC had asked him to reconsider his decision but it is his firm wish which we respect,” he said.
Meanwhile, 34 leaders, including the party’s 12 MPs, have accepted nominations to contest for the 20-seat CEC, which then elects the main office bearers from among themselves. Guan Eng, who got his freedom to hold posts in political parties last week, is among them.
After serving 12 months in jail for two offences under the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1997, Guan Eng was forced to sit out of politics as those convicted were not allowed to hold positions in political parties or stand for elections for five years from the date of their release. Guan Eng was released on Aug 25, 1999.
Two party leaders from Malacca – state chairman Sim Tong Him and former secretary-general Kerk Kim Hock –have declined nominations.