World

Former DAP members accuse the M'sia opposition party of losing its way

MALACCA: Malaysia's opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) is reeling from the shock resignations of one Member of Parliament and three Malacca assemblymen, leading to open bickering among top leaders.

The infighting comes at a bad time for the opposition as they try to cobble a credible front against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition for the next general election, which is expected to be called this year.

The resignations are also a blow to the DAP, which is less prone to bitter leadership tussles than other parties.

It has the most seats among the opposition parties in Parliament.

Former Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him and the three assemblymen who quit on Sunday said the party has lost its direction. The comment is seen as a criticism of its leaders for working with former premier Mahathir Mohamad, local media reported.

"The leaders are also not willing to accept constructive criticism," Mr Sim said, as reported by The Star yesterday.

Dr Mahathir is seen by some as using the opposition to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak, and not backing the agenda to reform Malaysia. Mr Sim said two months ago that Dr Mahathir's presence could scare off supporters.

Critics said the four quit as they were bitter after losing internal party polls in December 2015, and were suspended for making statements against DAP leaders.

Responding to Mr Sim's accusations, its secretary-general, Mr Lim Guan Eng, said on Facebook: "The party did not change. Sim and his faction changed after their (DAP polls) defeat, focusing their attacks on the party rather than on BN's corruption scandals or the excesses of the Malacca Chief Minister." - THE STRAITS TIMES