PETALING JAYA: Socialist stalwart Nasir Hashim will be stepping down as chairman of Parti Sosialis Malaysia, a position he has held since the founding of the party 23 years ago.
PSM central committee member S Arutchelvan said Nasir would retire at the party congress next week. Deputy chairman M Sarasvathy would also be stepping down, Arutchelvan said.
“Replacing Dr Nasir won’t be easy. He isn’t just anybody,” he said in an online posting.
Arutchelvan said Nasir and Sarasvathy were required to step down in line with a central committee resolution in 2007 that set a limit of 10 years or five terms for anyone holding the positions of chairman, deputy chairman, secretary-general and treasurer.
Nasir was the founding chairman of PSM and fought a 10-year struggle from 1998 to secure the party’s registration.
He was elected to the Selangor state assembly when he won the Kota Damansara seat in 2008 on a PKR ticket as PSM had not been registered. His success was the first by a socialist politician since 1969, when four members of Parti Socialis Rakyat were elected in Penang and Pahang.
However, Nasir failed to secure re-election in 2013.
Nasir was detained for 15 years under the Internal Security Act during the infamous Ops Lallang crackdown of 1987. He also spent time in police lock-ups on other occasions.
Sarasvathy, described as the “tiger of PSM”, was detained in 2011 under the Emergency Ordinance along with five other PSM leaders.