Khalid Samad warns Perkasa fomenting tension for ISA crackdown

By Neville Spykerman, The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Aug 18 — Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has warned that Perkasa is deliberately trying to whip up religious and racial tension to give Barisan Nasional (BN) an excuse to use the Internal Security Act (ISA) against the opposition.

The Malay rights group has been at the forefront of warning off those who question affirmative action policies for Bumiputeras and recently a Shah Alam church that wanted to hold a Christian play during the Ramadan fasting month. The church had called off the play before Perkasa lodged a report two days ago.

“I fear it’s an overall strategy that BN is implementing now in the run up to the next general elections and it will culminate in another Operasi Lalang,” the PAS lawmaker told The Malaysian Insider.

Khalid was commenting on Perkasa’s move to lodge a police against the Grace Shah Alam Church and its pastor here, comparing it to the 1987 security crackdown where 106 opposition leaders and social activists were detained without trial under the ISA.

Perkasa wants the church and Pastor Joseph Marcose investigated for planning to stage a Christian play in Muslim-majority Shah Alam during the Ramadan fasting month.

Petaling Perkasa chairman Zainal Abidin Ahmad lodged a police report against the Protestant church and Marcose for sedition.

Khalid believed the BN government was looking for an excuse to crackdown and appealed to all Malaysians to ignore “the ship which is sinking.”

“They have demonstrated once again that they are incapable of uniting the nation, behaving maturely and responsibly,” he said.

Khalid said Perkasa was driving another nail into BN’s coffin by exploiting the racial and religious issue which will also serve to disunite Malaysians.

He said Christians had every right to use the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC), which it in the middle of the Selangor state capital.

Khalid pointed there should not be any problem so long organisers clearly state that the programme is for non-Muslims, so that Muslims can stay away.

“It’s not like they are hiding in the shadows to fool authorities,” he said.

Khaild also pointed out that Muslims were mature and strong enough in their own faith and would not be threatened by a Christian event.

Zainal Abidin told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that Perkasa wanted the church and pastor to be investigated for sedition and for insulting the Sultan.