Umno leaders defend Najib’s Perkasa flip-flop

(Bernama) – The government practises a policy of inclusiveness towards non-governmental organisations (NGOs), said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

He said his ministry was ever willing to hear feedback from NGOs so long as they did not touch on sensitivities of any race in the country.

“The government does want any conflict wih any NGO including Perkasa especially where inputs towards the formulation of the NEM, Economic Transformation and annual budgets are concerned,” he told reporters after presenting aid to 15 families whose houses were damaged in a storm in Bandar Baru Putra, here today.

He said this when asked to comment about the prime minister’s statement yesterday that Umno wanted to avoid conflicts with any NGO including the right wing Perkasa.

Najib’s U-turn on Perkasa comes a day after Malaysia Day

In BATU PAHAT, speaking on the same subject, Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said Perkasa was merely championing the people’s rights as spelt out in the Constitution.

“In my view, Perkasa is not being provocative or encouraging people to hate each other unlike the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf),” he said when met by reporters at his Aidilfitri open house at Dewan Senggarang here.

Mohd Puad, who is also an Umno Supreme council member, added that matters related to Perkasa were made political issues but close associations between political parties and extreme organisations like Dong Zhong did not merit the same treatment.

In KOTA BAHARU, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said the NGO was not involved in politics but was only voicing out the people rights as provided for by the Constitution.

“I wish to reiterate here that we are not a political party and are also not supporting any party including Umno but are championing the people’s rights under the Consitution,” he told reporters after holding a briefing session for the machinery involved in organising a people’s gathering here on September 25.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to grace it.