I don’t recognise Perkasa, says Samad Said


 (TMI) – National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said (pic) has thumbed his nose at Malay right-wing organisation Perkasa over its call for him to return his honorific to the government.

He said he will ignore the call from the group led by Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who had questioned his patriotism over his attendance at an event where the Sang Saka Malaya flag was flown.

“I don’t recognise Perkasa. If they want the title stripped from me, then they should act on it themselves,” said the poet in a text reply to The Malaysian Insider.

Ibrahim demanded that Samad should return the national laureate title to prove that he would not be bothered if it was stripped off him.

This came after Samad had said he was not bothered by calls to strip off his national laureate title for allegedly insulting the country.

“I applaud Samad’s bravery, but he should return the national laureate title himself if he is sincere. Many people will criticise the government if it revokes the title,” Ibrahim had said at a press conference on Thursday.

A defiant Samad today also brushed aside rebukes over his participation at the Merdeka eve event at Dataran Merdeka.

He said he was invited to the event by Himpunan Hijau, a non-governmental organisation.

“It was just a coincidence that the flag was flown when I was on the stage. I was not aware of the incident. It was easy for certain parties to link it to me.

“I know Hishamuddin Rais and Adam Adli were there but they arrived earlier than me. When it was my turn to be with Himpunan Hijau, they were already there.

“To link me (to the flag) is unreasonable although I sympatise with Adam Adli and Hishamuddin,” he said.

Hishamuddin and Adam, both activists, were the first to be arrested by police. Two days later, Samad was also arrested. All three are being investigated under the Sedition Act.

The Sang Saka Malaya is a red-and-white flag with 12 yellow stars set in four columns and was reportedly proposed as Malaya’s national flag in the 1940s. The country does not recognise the flag and those caught flying the flag can be charged under the Sedition Act.