Anwar asks Umno to explain love-hate ties with Perkasa

By Neville Spykerman and Melissa Chi, The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Sept 10 — Opposition leaders, including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, have expressed  scepticism over Umno’s move to distance itself from Perkasa.

“Umno needs to explain.  Is this policy or is this political expediency,” Anwar said today.

The PKR adviser and Opposition leader pointed out that it was Umno which built up the Malay rights group to what it is.

“They endorsed, they gave facilities and they gave support to Perkasa,” he said.

Top Umno leaders earlier today spoke up against the Perkasa and its controversial president Datuk Ibrahim Ali.

Among those speaking out against Ibrahim,  who has been seen as a thorn in the side of the Najib Administration was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor reportedly also told his counterparts in Barisan Nasional that Umno would not back Perkasa or its president Ibrahim in the next general election.

Anwar said he did not understand the inconsistencies but doubted the move was a prelude to snap elections.

He also noted that the prime minister himself had remained silent on the issue.

Anwar said Najib has allowed Perkasa to continue inciting racial hatred all this while.

While Umno moved to distance itself, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has declared his support for Perkasa which he described as a crutch for a weak Umno.

The former PM, who is also Perkasa patron, said that members of the Malay rights group are Umno supporters and it would not help the party’s cause to turn them away.

“He is trying to make himself relevant,” said Anwar while dismissing Dr Mahathir’s comments.


PKR Batu MP Chua Tian Chang today also expressed disbelieve at Umno’ move.

“It’s not for real,” said PKR strategy chief.