This research proposes an intelligent decision support system for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia diagnosis from microscopic blood images. A novel clustering algorithm with stimulating discriminant measures (SDM) of both within- and between-cluster scatter variances is proposed to produce robust segmentation of nucleus and cytoplasm of lymphocytes/lymphoblasts. Specifically, the proposed between-cluster evaluation is formulated based on the trade-off of several between-cluster measures of well-known feature extraction methods. The SDM measures are used in conjuction with Genetic Algorithm for clustering nucleus, cytoplasm, and background regions. Subsequently, a total of eighty features consisting of shape, texture, and colour information of the nucleus and cytoplasm sub-images are extracted. A number of classifiers (multi-layer perceptron, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Dempster-Shafer ensemble) are employed for lymphocyte/lymphoblast classification. Evaluated with the ALL-IDB2 database, the proposed SDM-based clustering overcomes the shortcomings of Fuzzy C-means which focuses purely on within-cluster scatter variance. It also outperforms Linear Discriminant Analysis and Fuzzy Compactness and Separation for nucleus-cytoplasm separation. The overall system achieves superior recognition rates of 96.72% and 96.67% accuracies using bootstrapping and 10-fold cross validation with Dempster-Shafer and SVM, respectively. The results also compare favourably with those reported in the literature, indicating the usefulness of the proposed SDM-based clustering method.