KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today hit back at former ally Lee Lam Thye for accusing him of forcing him out of the party back in 1990.

The MP for Iskandar Putri said he never stabbed Lee in the back and till today has no idea why Lee quit the party three decades ago.

Lee in his recently published autobiography titled: Lee Lam Thye: Recalling a Lifetime of Service said when he was deputy secretary-general back in 1990 he was pulled out of the Bukit Bintang seat he had won for four terms.

He said two months before the general elections in 1990 he met Lim and was told he would have to contest elsewhere to which he refused and duly quit.

“Till today 32 years later I still do not know why Lam Thye quit politics on the eve of the 1990 general elections,” Lim said in a statement today.

He recalled a speech he made at a DAP function in Batu Pahat a day after Lee retired from politics.

In it Lim he said he met Lee on September 19 where he was told of his imminent retirement from politics.

He said many people were trying to create divisions within the party and he tried to persuade Lee to stay with several meetings and phone conversations and had high hopes Lee would reconsider, but he did not.

“Lam Thye's announcement of retirement from politics came in the turbulent month of politics in the month of September 1990, when 100,000 people demonstrated against the Cheras tolls issue.

“Tan Kok Wai, the DAP MP for Cheras, was detained under the Internal Security Act and Lam Thye’s walk out of the DAP Federal Territory meeting and subsequent resignation as DAP Federal Territory Chairman.

“Lam Thye’s announcement came less than a week before the dissolution of Parliament for the holding of the eighth general election on October 21, 1990,” Lim said in a statement today.