Umno has confirmed Pakatan Rakyat’s suspicions all along – that Perkasa is a vehicle for the party’s extreme racial and religious stance.
PETALING JAYA: Umno leader Isa Samad confessed yesterday that the party “protects” and provides “benefits” to Perkasa, prompting Pakatan leaders to question the nature of the benefits given, as well as the extent of Umno’s duplicity.
“Finally, Isa Samad let the cat out of the bag. We knew all this while that Perkasa was a proxy for Umno, even though Umno has been denying it all this while. But no one confirmed it until today.
“This admission shows the two-faced nature of Umno and Barisan Nasional, who pretended to be all-inclusive, while at the same time supporting and encouraging racial bigotry through Perkasa,” PKR vice-president N Surendran told FMT.
He demanded Umno leaders to explain what “benefits” it had provided to Perkasa, and whether it involved using government authority.
“When you talk about giving benefits, the question arises over whether you are talking about government contracts given to Perkasa members.
“I believe this is the case, and if it is truly happening, then this is obviously corruption and abuse of power,” said Surendran..
In a press conference yesterday, former Umno vice president Isa Samad had told reporters that Perkasa could not replace Umno in looking after the Malays because Perkasa itself relied on the party.
“We protected Perkasa and it received plenty of benefits from us. How will it replace us?” Isa had reportedly said at a press conference.
Surendran told FMT that there was no doubt at all that when Umno talked about protecting Perkasa, it was admitting to abusing its government authority so that the vocal group escaped prosecution.
“The government should have taken action against Perkasa for sowing hatred and seeds of discord. Yet, when Ibrahim Ali called for the burning of bibles, no action was taken,” said Surendran, referring to Ibrahim’s infamous call last year which sparked national outrage, but saw no action taken by the police.
Ibrahim had also mocked Christians by claiming they had no name for their God, and urged the government to teach Christians a lesson and ban Malay-language bibles.
But despite his controversial outbursts, Ibrahim has only been sentenced to a day in jail and a fine of RM20,000 – and this for an article posted on Perkasa’s website that purportedly scandalised a judge and the judicial system.
“Now we understand why Perkasa has been so audacious – they have a political master that somehow provides them protection, patronage and custody. They couldn’t care less of the rule of the law,” PAS’s Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad told FMT.
The central working committee member admitted to being stunned by Isa Samad’s admission, although he, like Surendran, said it had always been an open secret.
“What’s important now is that Umno must come out clean and explain to the rakyat to what extent they have protected and given benefits to Perkasa.
“The fact that Umno is protecting them goes to show what a lie ‘1Malaysia’ is to the true beliefs and convictions of Umno,” he said.