Umno will challenge Ibrahim Ali in Pasir Mas, says sec-gen

By Adib Zalkapli and G. Manimaran, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the party would not back Datuk Ibrahim Ali in the next general election as the Perkasa chief was eroding Barisan Nasional’s (BN) support among the non-Malays.

He also dismissed allegations that Umno had strong ties with the Malay rights group,

“Why should Umno support him? Umno should put a candidate in Pasir Mas. We will contest in Pasir Mas,” Tengku Adnan told The Malaysian Insider in an interview yesterday.

Ibrahim, who was sacked from Umno in 2004, won the Pasir Mas seat in Election 2008 under a PAS ticket.

In 2005, he contested as an independent in the Pengkalan Pasir by-election but obtained only 415 votes and lost his deposit. Pengkalan Pasir is a state constituency situated in the Pasir Mas town centre.

Ibrahim abandoned his partnership with PAS soon after Election 2008 and founded Perkasa to defend what he called the constitutional position of the Malays.

The group which has successfully attracted more than 50,000 members nationwide has been pressuring the Najib administration to state its support for pro-Bumiputera economic policy, despite the government’s attempt to liberalise the country’s economy.

Recently, Ibrahim challenged Datuk Seri Najib Razak to declare that his 1 Malaysia concept— introduced to promote national unity — was consistent with the concept of “Ketuanan Melayu” (Malay supremacy), which Ibrahim claimed to be constitutionally enshrined.

“As a secretary-general I can tell you, we have nothing to do with Perkasa, and certain things Perkasa is doing we are not happy [with], because they are eroding our support,” said Tengku Adnan when it was pointed out that many Perkasa members are from Umno.

“When they talk about my Chinese friends or my Indian friends, they make us lose more votes,” he added.

Tengku Adnan reminded Perkasa leaders that BN had to address the needs of all racial groups in the country and could not afford to discriminate against anyone if it wanted to continue governing Malaysia.