Dr Mahathir and Perkasa part ways, says source


(The Malaysian Insider) – After defending Perkasa’s Bible-burning threat last year and being present as patron at its events, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Malay rights group have parted ways, said a source, citing the former prime minister’s unease with the group’s direction.

The source, who is a Perkasa leader, told The Malaysian Insider that Dr Mahathir was unhappy over how Perkasa triggered and handled racially sensitive issues, including Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning controversy, which had sparked outrage among the Christian community.

The leader said that the group also did not want to be associated with Dr Mahathir, although it had great respect for the elder statesman.

“We hope no one links Tun M’s (Dr Mahathir’s) opinions with Perkasa, and do not link Perkasa’s actions with Tun M,” the source added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Both parties have no ties with one another, although we respect Tun M and believe that he has supported much of what Perkasa has championed for.”

The last time Dr Mahathir met Perkasa was in November; Dr Mahathir failed to turn up for the group’s 5th annual general assembly in December due to health reasons.

However, the source said the real reason Dr Mahathir did not attend the assembly was because he was unhappy with the group, and had revealed his displeasure during the meeting in November.

“During the meeting with Perkasa, Dr Mahathir had scolded them rather sternly,” said the source, who was also present at the meeting.

However, the source played down the rebuke, saying such admonishments were normal.

“It is inevitable that there are some things which Perkasa does that makes Tun M uneasy, but he rarely reproaches us because he knows he has no right to determine Perkasa’s direction.”