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Perkasa and Najib’s Dilemma

February 16, 2010

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Member, PAS Central Working Committee.

If you were overly anxious of a deepening racial fault-line because of the rhetoric of the Perkasa’s President, the person who got to be a MP of Pasir Mas on the back of PAS’ hardwork and goodwill, and now calling himself ‘independent’, I would like you to read the good write-up of the MI’s columnist Shazwan Mustafa Kamal below. I must say that such honest and insightful write-up will hopefully keep the media less toxic with an overdose of jaundiced views of one narrow perspective of the stakeholder ie the Umno/BN ruling regime in the media like Utusan, NST, RTM etc.

Consistent with the notion of an Islamist democrat, I must maintain that Perkasa or any organizations for that matter, partisan or otherwise, must be free to advocate and propagate their beliefs and conviction. Whether it is an extreme right or left, center-right or centre-left or however ‘centrist’ it may claim to be in the ideological milieu, (or not even worthy of being an ideology at all as this Perkasa is, perhaps, as opined by Prof Shamsul Ambri), I must stand up to defend their right to say their piece. I shall not insist that they be criminalized for being seditious or dealt with legally by any other draconian laws of the country.

However, much as I support their right to express it, I must also be given the democratic right to oppose it. That truly defines a democratic environment and that truly defines a democrat from a pseudo-one. That’s a reminder to all and the writer is no exception.My contention of Ibrahim Ali’s Perkasa is seriously ideological. The entire struggle is flawed, as it is premised on the basis of struggling for the right of the ‘alienated’ Malays. In a frantic attempt at manipulating sympathy, the Malay race is alleged to be under siege and all-round attack from other races, including the so-called ‘liberal’ Malays, as labeled by the Perkasa’s President.  

The Najib’s administration, now desperately wooing back non-Malays votes, is also alleged to have failed in fighting for the Malay cause. As Najib grapples with the challenges of the competing multi-racial interests and constraints, deviously projected to be mutually exclusive at times, Perkasa is hell-bent to embark on a self-pitying Malay agenda.

Recent dismantling of the NEP-type policies was accused of disadvantaging the Malays and the war lords or chieftains of Umno are extremely enraged. This shall continue to be the central theme of  the struggle of an ethno-supremacist policies of Perkasa. Little did they admit that the NEP has for decades arguably failed to uplift the poor Malays and genuine bumiputera entrepreneurs and was only good at enriching the minute well-connected Umnoputera. Perkasa is on a ‘crusade’ to make the entire nation believe that the Malay race is suffering from alienation and erosion of political power. Perkasa is quite oblivious of stoking the flames of racial tension and polarisation.

Perkasa now insists that the new economic model about to be presented by Najib’s government must continue to defend the ‘Malay agenda’ as it has failed to be achieved in the last 3 decades. They are least concerned as to why it failed and who had actually undermined nay subverted the Malay agenda, amongst others of not achieving the 30% corporate equity. They have not articulated any policy advocacy in term of alleviating the entrapped poor Malays if truly they are concerned about Malay right. All that they could harp on is on Malay corporate equity.

They truly sounded so archaic in their political advocacy and providing little of concrete programmes, much less to articulate a new approach of advancing the Malay race in the face of myriad challenges of competing multi-racial interests and the reality of globalization. Already Malaysia is missing from the radar screens of most foreign investors largely a consequent of politics of patronage and rent-seeking behaviours of greedy Umno cronies. How much worse could Perkasa and like-minded NGOs and NGIs like Nasir Safar, undermine nation-rebuilding agenda and the quest for regainng nation’s competitiveness?

Will Najib and the chieftains of Umno able to identify with such self-pitying Malay right wing NGO group out to heightened racial polarization and antagonism, while still could be sloganeering on 1-Malaysia? Umno is at a critical cross-road in term of deciding a political trajectory of its future strategic position. Will Najib allow the ‘extremists’ element in Umno to hijack and derail the party’s efforts of reengineering their image to be one that is akin to that of ‘PAS for All’ and now ‘Umno for All’.

Najib has come to realize that the greatest enemy of Umno is Umno’s own leaders and members that have failed to carry the vision and mission of their past presidents. Has he what it takes to change his party and will he turn this threat to an opportunity? Or was Perkasa a Najib’s design, anyway? Perhaps, as some have alluded, but a conspiratorial theory too bizarre to be of any strategic value, except to act as a ‘bogey’ for the Malay agenda.

Will Najib submit to this aberration or will he demonstrate to the nation that he has a better spine as compared to his immediate predecessor? Najib is rudely reminded of his last blunder when condoning the demonstration in the mosque in the divisive issue of usage of ‘Allah’. He was severely bashed. He has to exhibit both substance and consistency to his 1-Malaysia rhetoric. He has succeeded in neither thus far, save very little.

The choice is wide open to him. If Najib goes with or in anyway showing leaning to Perkasa, he will live to regret his choice as he will be the last PM of the BN to bring the longest serving government in the world to an end. He could no longer eat the cake and keep it. He has to either eat it or keep it. He has to call a spade a spade. He has to emulate his political nemesis, PAS and that is surely not an easy feat.

If Najib finally succumbs, he does it at his own peril!

Please read the writing of Shazwan in the MI: Analysts, politicians differ on Perkasa’s role

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. be fair permalink
    February 16, 2010 8:04 pm

    I will not be surprised if Perkasa is supported secretly by Najib as it is by Dr Mahathir. It is clear as dear to me that Ibrahim( who by the way will fade into oblivion if he stand for election come GE13 is trying to stir up racist feelings amongst the malays so that a ‘bogeyman’ can be blamed for the Malay agenda. If Pakatan wins the next GE, he will be condemed and he knows it. So this is his last hurrah and hopefull be rewarded by his political masters. Fortunately the ranks of malays being duped by the likes of him are getting smaller with each passing fiasco. Yes you have rightly defended the right to free speech. In this case please allow me to say. ” Ibrahim, you are no muslim and you do not have the right to defend so called erosion of malay rights. To me you are a spineless, lalang who add no value to the betterment and welfare of a civil society in the country. YOur God is your stomach or your pocket which is now being filled by equally unprincipled wicked leaders such as the country has never known. In the end you will die a lonely death, degraded, dismissed and deplored by all alike.

    • 4RAKYAT permalink
      February 17, 2010 6:31 am

      correct correct correct.

  2. Sam permalink
    February 16, 2010 11:45 pm

    Dr,
    It is people like you and Shazwan who can help save this country from ravaging wolves in UMNO and Perkasa. Thank God there are more like you than those aligned with ravaging wolves from UMNO and Perkasa.
    In any country Ibrahim Ali would be a non-entity. A man without a modicum of principles. He is ungrateful (to PAS). He even cheated Tunku Razaleigh.
    He is a low down scum yet there are some stupid Mat Rempit (who else) with him.
    Its an irony the old Mamak (who should be burning in hell) is with Perkasa.

  3. Chinese Muslim permalink
    February 17, 2010 1:05 am

    Honestly, Muslim like you I do not fear it’s Muslims who run amok chanting racist slogans carrying cow head and placards with seditious captions that non – Muslims wish they rather be living in some other places than Malaysia.

    • Eric permalink
      February 17, 2010 7:58 am

      I’d even go further than you.
      If most Muslims were displaying the tolerance and knowledge of YB Dr Zul, among others, I can only guess would-be converts would be queuing up at mosques countrywide.

  4. February 17, 2010 4:09 am

    A’kum Dr;

    I am glad and hope to see more “Islamist democrats” to come forward. I have shown that PAS has moved out from it’s orthodox ways of thinking with the help of people like you and Shah Alam MP Khalid.

    Previously, we kept chanting about Islam how is compatible with democratic process and this time I have seen how it is being practice by the Islamist.

    Muslim can not progress if we keep using “law” to suppress new ideas, instead we should face the challenges through intellectual discussions. We must stop burying our head in the sand and pretending that the problem will go away!

    Keep up the good work Dr!

  5. February 17, 2010 5:02 am

    I’m not so sure if they shouldn’t be criminalized in the name of freedom of speech.
    A gullible people faced with economic hardship would easily fall into the trap laid by them – seeking out a scapegoat for their problems.
    To allow the demand for racist/apartheid rights not enshrined in the FC is tantamount to challenging the FC.
    Moreover, to allow them in their actions, is tantamount to promoting fascism in Malaysia (not that Umno hasn’t been doing it for 50 yrs) …

    • admin permalink*
      February 17, 2010 10:51 am

      Hi Cruz, Spot on, but who are we to judge them. ie that’s a matter of the judicial process, seditious or otherwise, while we could only express our thoughts, much as they deserved theirs, yes even to the gullible people. Let’s debate it with them and defeat them on an intellectual plain. Let the public decides. We will thrash them. Let the public be informed. Let them decide on informed basis. That’s mature democracy.

      • cruz permalink
        February 17, 2010 11:09 am

        Yes Sir – we would thrash them flat. However, the problem remains – they wouldn’t want to face us on equal terms.They’d rather have us out of the way, so that they can preach to the ignorant – and that is their motive in this crime.
        They want to annihilate us – the right thinking citizens.

        It would be wrong to say “who are we to judge them” – we are the people who together determine how we achieve true nationhood! It is by judging them that we can challenge them.

        Right now, being sophisticated pirates, Mahathir/Umno is using Perkasa to propagate their extremist/ racist and fascist ideas – so that they can perpetuate the plunder of the country’s resources. (They have even roped in “mercenary intellectuals” to play the apologist for them – and I wouldn’t want to mention names here). Read Lim Teck Ghee’s take on Perkasa, & you’ll know who I’m talkng about.

        More needs to be done to shame Umno for pandering to Perkasa or Perkosa (or whatever you call it). They need to be attacked and discredited, or the silence/lack of concern among right thinking Malays/Muslims will be taken as a sign of weakness or agreement by the pirates, Pak Turuts & the unenlightened.

        Keep the faith & the fight, YB.

  6. February 17, 2010 5:22 am

    I wonder, If PAS ruled malaysia, will we turn into another Iran? and malays barred from pubs and nightclubs, if these places are not forced to shut in the first place?
    And will there be debate and open discussion concerning the islamic faith, or will this be dictated by a select few so called “religious scholars”?.
    Will PAS abide by the constitution, or wiil they introduce religious laws that circumvent the constitution and civil laws, like what the syariah law is today. Will malays face the wrath of having to live with two sets of laws. or one law of the land?
    Today, we have some very enlightened PAs leaders.
    But who know what tomorrow will bring. There may be Perkasa minded PAS members lurking in the background, waiting to take over.
    How do we dislodge them from power then? These guys think they are sent by god, just like the iranian ayatollahs. Can PAS guarranty freedom of thoughts and ideas when they lead? Or will those who have opposing ideas be put in jail?

    • admin permalink*
      February 17, 2010 10:45 am

      Hi Sputjam,

      I will be frank with you. Have trust in democracy – ‘its check and balance’ and the ‘rule of law’ to dislogde them in no time , as and when they become ‘tyrannical and autocratic’. I’m sure they will be booted out by the people in no time.

      This is why I insist to call myself Islamist Democrat – we play to the rules of the game and also the reason why we need the level playing field to ensure justice and fair-play for all. Your mandate must be gained thro legitimate electoral process and you can’t force down the throats of others what they don’t like. That’s democracy! Making informed choice.

      • sputjam permalink
        February 19, 2010 1:55 am

        I understand that you and many of your colleagues will play by the rules of a democratic system.
        But there are some who see religion and race issues should overide the democratic process, like the people in Perkasa. There are many Perkasa types in PAS as well.
        Will PAS make righteous and just rule overide religious and racial issues? Or will other matters take a back seat to religious and racial issues.

      • February 19, 2010 2:43 am

        This is why I insist to call myself Islamist Democrat – we play to the rules of the game and also the reason why we need the level playing field to ensure justice and fair-play for all.
        ——————————————————-

        YB Sir,
        While I may be inclined to trust you on this, it would be stretching the imagination for one to say that the vast majority would trust PAS with that.
        PAS has yet to give up its “fight” for an “Islamic” state – despite being unable to specifically articulate & define what that means.

        Every now & then we get the so-called liberal factions (aka Islamist democrats) coming around with the rhetoric on the “virtues” of the “Islamic” state. I remember back in 2006/07 when Alwi used to write to Malaysia Today on this – he used to go bla bla bla on “Islamic” this and that (which were unconstitutional & undemocratic) and then say, “will the real democrats please stand up”!!

        To make matters worse, they tend to believe & propagate the idea that “secularism” is unIslamic – when it is perfectly compatible. Please don’t confuse “secular humanism” with “secularization of society” – One protects society & religion not only from each other but also from itself. The other entirely rejects influences of religion entirely.

        No “ultra vires”[;-)] intended here – but sometimes I really wonder what this term “Islamist democrat” means at all in the first place …. when they cannot even acknowledge & accept that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  7. ajc permalink
    February 17, 2010 5:32 am

    If Malay Muslims constitute to more than 65% of the population, how can it posibly be under seige or attack. Just do your math Ibrahim.Ibrahim wants to make himself relavant by playing the race/religion card. He knows TGNA will boot him out after begging him to stand as PAS candidate the last time. People are seeing thru you.
    I’m still hopeful because we have people like your goodself Dr Dzul, Shazwan, YB Khalid, Prof Azmi & many others who sees things differently. You all are shining example of hope and peace. Salam.

  8. Jayenjr permalink
    February 17, 2010 5:38 am

    YB

    Pls ask Najib to be come clean on Altantuya first. Personally, I couldn’t care less if he is sincere about his 1 Malaysia etc. How can a man with such a credibility issue lead this country? Should we be anything but dis-satisfied?

  9. Hothot permalink
    February 17, 2010 9:32 am

    I tend to agree with a suggestion that UMNO has outsourced the bashing of “manufactured enemies” to Perkasa and perhaps Apa Nama Itu. In that way, Najib can look good. His excuse will be similar to the excuse he gave for Utusan that they are doing a good job articulating Bumi aspirations.

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