Barisan Nasional Leaders came to a point to defy Perkasa, at the moment deemed the ‘Malay nationalism voice of discern’. They claimed that Perkasa struggle is racial centric and not in tandem of PM Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s ‘1 Malaysia’.
The Star reported on this:
Published: Friday September 10, 2010 MYT 8:34:00 PM
BN leaders band together in stand over Perkasa
PUTRAJAYA: Perkasa’s style of championing the cause of the Malays will only lead to racial disharmony, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
He added that if left unchecked, it could lead to riots that would only cause everyone to lose.
Nazri said Umno could not align itself with Perkasa because its method of championing the rights of the Malays also took into account the interests of the other races and its programmes were designed for the best interest of the people.
Perkasa’s mission on the other hand, he said, was only to create a platform for its president Ibrahim Ali to contest and win his Pasir Mas parliamentary seat, that he won under the PAS ticket but later broke away to became an independent MP.
“Umno will never accept him and PAS will not be fooled again so he had to come up with a platform to help him win the seat again and he is hoping that Perkasa will provide this,” he told reporters during the Hari Raya open house hosted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Cabinet Ministers at Seri Perdana here on Friday.
He was commenting on Perkasa’s recent statement, where the group’s founder Datuk Ibrahim Ali said they did not need Umno’s support.
Ibrahim had said that Perkasa never had ties with Umno, but claimed that 60% of its members were Umno members.
Nazri said Ibrahim and others in Perkasa, including the Umno members supporting the group, were “desperados” using cheap political tactics and most Malays in the country were too clever to buy into their brand of politics.
“The Umno members in Perkasa are rejects from our party and the leaders at all levels of Umno are with the Prime Minister and his 1Malaysia concept that is why we will never subscribe to Perkasa’s way of fighting for the rights of the Malays,” he said.
Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the party’s struggles were much bigger and wider in scope than Malay rights group Perkasa’s.
“The struggles of Umno are more holistic than Perkasa’s. Umno fights for the Malays and Malaysians, which Umno had been fighting for since 1946,” he said.
Asked if an association with Perkasa would cause voters to shy away from Umno, Ahmad said the party’s voter-base had not been affected.
Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said Perkasa’s extreme method in fighting for the rights of the Malays and the fact that it gave no thought to the interests and sensitivities of the other races, was the reason that Umno could not subscribe to the its ways.
Meanwhile, MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu said there was no point dignifying Ibrahim with so many replies as Perkasa was “just an NGO”.
MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said MCA was pleased that Umno had made a clear stand against Perkasa.
‘We are happy to see Malaysia as 1Malaysia that is moving forward towards a better future. Umno has made its stand and Perkasa has made its stand. Now, it is very clear what everyone’s stand is.
“We at MCA stand firm in what 1Malaysia is about,” she said.
MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan said they did not support any individual that practised racism.
“It is not the right thing to do (to practise racism) as it can affect the country’s stability,” he said.
MIC vice-president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said certain issues raised by Perkasa was affecting the country’s aspiration and attempts by Barisan to strengthen the relationship between races.
Former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam also criticised Perkasa for causing unease among the community through its actions.
“Perkasa is not saying the right things.
“Non-Malays have never begrudged the position of Malays as enshrined in the Constitution. They have to rethink their actions,” he added.
These Cabinet Ministers are so detached with reality and as elected leaders, they are confined to their office suite analysis and almost completely detached with aspirations of the grassroots and rakyat. Particularly the Malays.
The bureaucracy and protocol inhibits the rakyat to get close to the leaders and hearing them out, first hand on issues many people on the streets talked about and dwell almost daily. If through party lines, the information flow both directions get lost in translation and often middle level couriers takes the liberty to scrutnise and rephrase information which is travelling upwards.
This cause discern to many average Malays, oblivion of the truth. More over, during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s tenure saw how mainstream media being manipulated and ‘sugar coat’ almost anything and everything to sustain the ‘Feel Good Factor’ which brought BN the thumping landslide victory on the April 2004 11th General Elections. The Malays were very bullish with PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s image of “Mr Clean”, “Son of Ulama” and simply “Goodfellow”.
During this tenure, UMNO leaders became complacent and instead going down to serve the aspiration of the rakyat regularly, they move mostly within their mid level party structure adamantly thinking that the party machinery is the vital and key success of the rakyat voting them in. Of course their focus in maintaining mid level party strength is more important for the self-professing political survival and serving the rakyat. UMNO has also been seen as an ‘elitist party’ instead of its original spirit being a ‘masses party’.
As such, the Malays felt slighted and some dwell into throwing support behind the Oppositions, mainly for PAS amongst the rural Malays and PKR for the urban and more educated Malays. As such, BN lost 5 + 1 states in the 8 March 2009 12th General Elections and for the first time, the ruling party failed to control the psychologically important 2/3 control of the Dewan Rakyat.
Eventually, PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah was ‘ousted’ and PM Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak assumed the sixth Prime Ministership at the times where UMNO as the primary Malay political party is at its weakest. The latter felt that the strategy of gaining a mid to long term support and mandate of the rakyat is about being “inclusive”.
Hence the ‘1 Malaysia’ call is launched.
The Non Malays see this opportunity to be ‘equal’, especially on issues and areas that the Malays have been privileged under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the bold affirmative action plan New Economic Policy launched in 1971, to address the vast despair of socio-economic status and capabilities between the ethnic groups and geography. Now they started to make demands and the demands is beginning to be insensitive and subscribing to universal values that is sometime deemed as ‘loud and aggressive’.
PM Najib also believes that ‘liberalising the economy’ is the strategic way forward and slowly taken steps in achieving this. The NEP is now being re-written as the New Economic Model where issues about the majority Malays and Bumiputra, have now started to be downplayed and mechanism being dislodged.
This does not go well with the Malays. Across the board, majority of the Malays felt slighted. The nationalists amongst the majority even felt strongly on PM Najib’s effort to pacify and pander the demands and wishes of the minority Chinese, who are across the board on better socio-economic status as compared to the Malays. It did not show productivity and result but instead the Chinese started to be more bolder and louder with their demands. That escalated into some viewing them as playing ‘political ransom’ against the ‘accommodating’ Leadership and the ‘giving in’ is apparent.
These ‘accommodating demands and giving ins’ are not without opportunity cost. The majority Malays become more slighted as some viewed as ‘giving away goodies’ to an ethnic group generally seen as able to afford it on their own as a community, in issues such as scholarships.
In the midst of all these, many nationalists came together to look for a platform to continue championing the Malay cause, affirmative action agenda and strategic plans. In their void that caused by mid level UMNO Leadership focusing on self-fulfilling political maneuvers, Malay NGOs arer born. One of it is PERKASA.
These tolerance and patience will one day comes to a saturation point and eventually the Malays in their frustration and emotional state of storm will no longer willing to throw support to BN.
PERKASA was formed to ensure that the Malay affirmative action agenda is being carried out and ensure followed through at the times where the Federal Government is adamant on its ‘liberalisation’ point. And most importantly Perkasa is about giving the hopes for the average Malays-on-the-street would not abandon the cause and struggle of the Malay Agenda.
Holistically, BN benefited immensely from the Malay ‘Fixed Deposits’ through out the years. Especially component parties such as MCA. MIC, Gerakan and others which failed to bring out their own ethnic groupings to vote for BN. It was the Malays ‘who came to the rescue’.
Failure to realise and recognise the aspirations of the grasss root Malays via PERKASA will only detach BN leaders, especially UMNO wedging away from the majority of the Malays. ‘1 Malaysia’ is about ‘Rakyat First’. And yet BN leaders is as if felt the Malays had enough of assistance and the UMNO leaders are apologetic about the Malays at large still need a lot of provision just to be on the same level playing field.
Taking potshots against PERKASA will only slight the Malays further. For an NGO which is officially been around since 18 months ago, they have already admitted 200,000 Malays to be their members and still growing strong. Inadvertently, PERKASA will be the political force to be reckoned with where the Malays ‘fixed deposit’ lies here in this NGO, equally matching previously UMNO’s role as the senior and managing party of the ‘kongsi kuasa’ coalition party Barisan Nasional.
BN Leaders such as Nazri Aziz, Khaled Nordin and other Non Malay leaders who made such remarks should really reconsider their stance and position on how the ‘club of 13’ will be maintaining their power base in the PRU 13; to remain relevant in hearts and minds of the Malays as the majority.