Karpal poised to be next DAP chairman


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 02 Sep 2004

BY A. LETCHUMANAN

MALACCA: The 12 DAP MPs and former Kota Melaka MP Lim Guan Eng are favourites to be elected in the party elections, with Karpal Singh poised to be the next chairman. 

They are among 34 who are contesting for the 20 seats in the party’s central executive committee polls which will be held during the party's national congress this weekend in Ipoh. 

Under the DAP constitution, the 20 members will elect the main office bearers from among themselves. 

Others also expected to get elected include DAP vice-chairman Zulkifli Mohd Noor, deputy secretary-general Ahmad Ton, DAP socialist youth chairman Nga Kor Ming and disciplinary committee chairman Ngeh Koo Ham, Sarawak’s Richard Wong Ho Leng and Anthony Loke Siew Fook. 

Also favourites to win the remaining positions in the committee are incumbent Sungai Pinang state assemblyman Teng Chang Khim and former Selangor state chairman Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew. 

Party observers said deputy chairman Karpal Singh was a likely choice to replace Lim Kit Siang as chairman if the latter decided not to accept the chairman post. 

“Although Lim had indicated that he would give up his chairman post, nothing has been finalised,” the observers said, adding that if Karpal Singh took over, it would be the first time the party would be headed by a non-Chinese since its inception. 

Party observers said Teng, who does not mince his words on issues, stands a better chance to win than Liu, a PJ Utara candidate during the general election. 

Teng, when contacted, said he was not campaigning as the delegates had enough material to evaluate his performance. 

The observers said party veteran and Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw would most likely be elected deputy chairman with Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, Zulkifli and Wong the vice-chairmen. 

They said Guan Eng was the most-accepted choice for the influential secretary-general post as he had now become eligible to hold positions in the party. 

They also said Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng, Ahmad and M. Kulasegaran were tipped to be deputy secretaries-general with Tanjong MP Chow Kon Yeow a favourite to take over the national publicity secretary’s post from Liu. 

Kulasegaran, who is the acting secretary-general, has decided to step down, saying that he wanted to concentrate on his legal practice in Ipoh. 

It is speculated that Loke, a rising star, might be appointed as political education director.  

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