Ku Nan now denies BN leaders snubbed Perkasa

By Boo Su-Lyn, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has now denied that his Barisan Nasional (BN) colleagues agreed to keep the ruling coalition from Perkasa as it was eroding their support. 

His denial came shortly after Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement yesterday that Umno did not want to stir conflict with any non-governmental organisation (NGO), despite the recent move by Umno leaders, including himself, to rebuff the Malay rights group.  

“When we had a meeting with BN secretaries-general, we never talked even a little bit that we wanted to distance ourselves from anybody,” Tengku Adnan told The Malaysian Insider today. 

“Our policy is to be close with everybody. We should even go and approach opposition members and explain what our policies are because they are misguided,” the BN secretary-general added. 

Earlier, Tengku Adnan reportedly said his BN counterparts had agreed that distancing the ruling coalition from Perkasa was the best way forward to halt the erosion of non-Malay support for BN. 

He had also told them that Umno would not back the strident Malay rights group or Ibrahim in the next general election. 

Tengku Adnan however denied stating that BN had to distance itself from Perkasa. He pointed out that he merely said the Malay group has tried to undermine the coalition’s chances in the next general election by sabotaging the racial harmony between BN component parties. 

“I never said we have to distance ourselves from Perkasa. I just said Perkasa is trying to jeopardise BN’s position for the next general election by destroying the racial harmonious position between my component parties,” said Tengku Adnan. 

The Umno secretary-general went a step further and said that he had never asked party members to sever ties with Perkasa, accusing its president Datuk Ibrahim Ali of blowing the issue out of proportion. 

“I didn’t even ask members of Umno to relinquish their relationship with Perkasa. It was totally blown out of proportion by Ibrahim Ali,” said Tengku Adnan. 

Perkasa claims to have a membership base of 300,000, of whom 80 per cent are said to be Umno members. 

He however, was quick to deny that his statement today was a reversal of his earlier stand against Perkasa.