Blogs join the fray as Umno-Perkasa split widens

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Several pro-Umno blogs have piled up the pressure on the Malay party by backing former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad who warned Umno that it risks alienating Malay support by sidelining influential Malay-rights group, Perkasa, and its president Ibrahim Ali.

Umno leaders like Minister in the Prime Minister Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin, party secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin last week said it was high time the party distanced itself from Perkasa which, they said, is a deterrent to Umno-Barisan Nasional’s effort to regain non-Malay support.

Prominent blogs like and Gerakan Anti-PKR in their recent postings, however, claimed Perkasa is merely a group that is responding to the growing threat to Malay rights and Najib’s effort to liberalise the economy, which faces fervent opposition by Perkasa, is seen as a move to conciliate the non-Malays.

“In reality, Umno’s current leadership is no longer carrying the aspiration of the Malays… the current Umno leadership is beginning to accept the idea of liberalising the country’s (economic) system and this covers aspects like giving more concession to non-Malay rights,” read the posting on

It added that Umno has yet to learn from the 2008 general election where it lost five states to Pakatan Rakyat and its two-thirds parliamentary majority.

Walking the same path

The blogger said this was caused by Umno’s failure to recognise the needs of its Malay grassroots and the party, under the helm of current president and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, is walking the same path as its failed predecessor.

The Gerakan Anti-PKR blog in its recent posting shared a similar view, saying that Perkasa was filling the gap created by Umno pertaining to the preservation of Malay rights and went as far as claiming that Perkasa had helped maintain the party’s Malay support through its links with Umno. The majority of Perkasa members are known to be “disgruntled” Umno members.

“Umno leaders who blame Perkasa are wrong. Perkasa had in its little way soothed the woes of the Malays whose hearts have been hurt so many times,” wrote the blogger.

The postings came immediately after Mahathir at his Hari Raya open house yesterday said it would spell disaster if Umno — which he claimed is now split — distanced itself from Perkasa.