Najib does not want to snub us, says Perkasa

By Boo Su-Lyn, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 —Perkasa claimed today that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s stand against Umno stirring conflict with non-governmental organisations indicates his reluctance to snub the Malay rights group.

Najib said yesterday that the ruling party did not want to be in conflict with any NGO despite the recent move by Umno leaders to distance the party from Perkasa.

“It does not mean that the prime minister agrees with all of Perkasa’s demands, but he clearly feels that distancing Umno from Perkasa is not the right move,” Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali told The Malaysian Insider today.

“Perkasa believes that Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) will always take into account the demands and views of Perkasa and other NGOs,” he said.

Najib, however, has played down Perkasa’s significance as a pressure group and said that Perkasa was just like any other NGO. 

Syed Hassan pointed out that there was no reason for BN to alienate a registered NGO like Perkasa as the ruling coalition has listened to the views of an unregistered NGO like Hindraf.

“If the BN government takes into account the voice of an unregistered NGO like Hindraf, why can’t a valid NGO like Perkasa be approached?” he asked.

Syed Hassan also stressed that there were no special ties between Umno and Perkasa.

The opposition has accused the ruling party of using Perkasa to restore Malay votes that were feared to be lost among conservatives who felt that the Najib administration was pandering to the non-Malay communities.

Recently, however, leaders aligned to Najib have begun the process of distancing the party from Perkasa to halt the erosion of non-Malay support for the ruling coalition.

Using the Malay rights platform, Perkasa has denounced Najib’s economic reforms despite his assurances that such reforms would not be at the expense of Bumiputeras.