Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perkasa rushes in where Umno fears to tread

Will Perkasa be more relevant to the Malay and Pribumi than UMNO?

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insiders

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Perkasa, the Malay nationalist movement which began as a one man band after Election 2008, is shaping up as a national pressure group to Umno, representing those seeking to defend the constitutional position of the Malays and the social contract.

For the past two months, the Perkasa national leadership, led by veteran politician Datuk Ibrahim Ali, has been going on road shows to officiate state level launches and to organise massive recruitment drives.

On Jan 30 former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who once made Ibrahim a deputy minister, is expected to launch the Selangor Perkasa. His presence will be seen as a coup for the right-wing organisation.

In every state, Ibrahim who is the sole independent Member of Parliament has been able to attract local Umno leaders to attend gatherings and express support for his struggle.

It has also successfully recruited Umno grassroots activists who have failed to climb up the party hierarchy.

Perkasa, which has been at the forefront in fighting for the exclusive use of the term “Allah for Muslims, has also set up its Sarawak chapter, the only state in Malaysia without Umno’s presence.

The group has also been lodging police reports against politicians who stand in their way such as the PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who supported the Roman Catholic Church’s right to use the term “Allah”.

“What Perkasa stands for today, was what Umno used to fight for when it was formed,” said a source close to the Perkasa leadership.

Umno began in May 1946 in Johor Bharu as an umbrella group for all Malay groups and parties opposed to the Malayan Union proposed to consolidate the Malay states after World War 2. It fought for Malay rights and later independence with allies MCA and MIC as the Alliance.

But a section of Malays, who form some 60 per cent of Malaysia’s 28 million population together with the natives I’m Sabah and Sarawak, think Umno has strayed from its founding ideals and is ‘pandering’ to the non-Malays.

Among them are ex-servicemen who have defended the nation and expect some rewards are retirement, such as taxi permits and business opportunities, which they see as rightful entitlements.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s emphasis on a new economic model and his move to free 27 economic sub-sectors after taking office last April has changed that equation and has pushed more Malays to join Perkasa or form its state chapters.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Perkasa’s first national assembly will be held by the end of first quarter of this year once all state chapters are formed.

At the official launch of the Johor Perkasa last weekend, Umno supreme council member and Deputy Education Minister Dr Puad Zarkashi was the most senior party leader present while the Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman dispatched his senior aide to the launch.

“About 1,000 members were present, we expect to get 5,000 in every district, and the response was very encouraging” said Johor Perkasa chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar on the launch last Sunday.

“We are not trying to replace any party, we are here to complement Umno to remind the Malays,” Abdul Rahman told The Malaysian Insider when asked about the group’s ambitious plan.

“We welcome everyone, Pas or PKR, we are just defending the rights of the Malays and the social contract,” he added.

For political analyst Dr. Muhammad Agus Yusoff, there is nothing surprising about Perkasa’s growing strength.

“It is not shocking, they will most likely end up as a pressure group, on certain issues they will be seen with Umno, and on some issues they may not,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“As long as they do not pose a threat to national security, they are perfectly fine, as most importantly the space for civil society groups to move freely must be recognised,” he added.

Agus noted that the ongoing debate on Malay issues has provided Perkasa a perfect environment to grow.

“We have become more ethnically divided, with the ‘Allah’ issue, church attacks, so Perkasa is benefitting from these issues.

“And you must understand Ibrahim Ali, he is a phenomenon, he has always been good at mobilising support,” he added.

“They can always fight for Malay supremacy, social contract, and oppose to liberalisation, so they are at the right place and at the right time,” he said, explaining the issues that resonate within the community.

Agus also said that the real question is whether Perkasa’s approach is sustainable.

“The real challenge is to [sustain] the momentum, with only the support of one group, if there is a major political change, can they last?” he asked


Anonymous said...

Perkasa hadir utk membantu umno..utk menyedarkan org2 melayu yg sedang "nyenyak tdo"!!!!

Kejutkan semua org2 melayu!!!!

kita perlu bangkit!!!!!

hidup melayu!!!!

Testickle said...


Alamak Voice, Lack of recent story ke?

Are you loosing your touch or simply just super busy?

(Cam Tony F, West ham dah kena jual)

C L J said...

Thaught of proposing Perkasa to be registered as a political party. Got bunches of supporters already. But NO: REMAIN IT AS AN NGO TO BE A VERY STRONG PRESSURE GROUP. For the Ideals.

Anonymous said...


I adore you, Ibrahim Ali. I equate you to Martin Luther King Jr. of the Malay World. You are the the loudest voice of the malays' rights at this moment. You have the dream, Ibrahim. We malays too have the dream.

Din Pungkok
Tanah Liat
Permatang Pauh

man dego said...

Cina ada DAP
India ada Hindraf
Harap Perkasa menjadi pembela melayu. Umno la ni bukan mewakili melayu. Mereka lebih peting diri sendiri.

Anonymous said...


Salute to Abe Brahim Ali, the Martin Luther King Jr of the malay world. You have the dream... we the malays have the dream too

Dollah Menguap

Anonymous said...

Malays like you, Din Pungkok and Ibrahim Ali, are absolutely stupid. Don't for even a nanosecond dream of comparing Ibrahim to MLK.

Kay Du Lac said...


I’ll have to agree with the Tun on this issue. UMNO has been rather weak and too confident these past few years. The way I see it, supports for the Malay- based party has been waning due to the party’s reluctance to admit that most of the Malays are no longer with UMNO.

Furthermore, UMNO needs to be more open especially in the way the leaders are portraying the party. For exp, PAS had opened up its membership to non-Malays. I think UMNO should do the same, but not through UMNO, but by using the BN.

The spirit of 1Malaysia, to me is not being represented by BN because it’s membership is dividing the Malays, Indians and Chinese (presented by MCA, MIC, and UMNO).

Kay Du Lac said...

Dalam bahasa Melayulah senang. susah payah menulis bahasa omputih nih...


Saya merasakan bahawa apa yang disampaikan oleh Tun adalah nasihat untuk UMNO supaya lebih bersikap proaktif dalam memperjuangkan nasib bangsa Melayu.

Kritikan seperti ini patut diambil kira oleh UMNO sekiranya mereka masih mahu mengekalkan kuasa pada PRK-13 nanti.
UMNO bukan sahaja perlu memberikan perhatian kepada bangsa Melayu, malahan perlu berusaha keras untuk mengurangkan jurang perbezaan antara kaum yang semakin meluas. Apa yang saya rasakan ialah walaupun UMNO parti Melayu, tetapi “sense of belonging” tidak dirasakan oleh orang-orang Melayu. Dan saya berpendapat perkara ini terjadi kerana imej UMNO telah tercalar akibat daripada blog-blog yang tidak bertanggungjawab.

Cubaan pihak pembangkang untuk mengaitkan UMNO dengan pelbagai isu juga dilihat sebagai strategi mereka untuk meraih simpati rakyat. UMNO perlu bersikap terbuka terhadap kritikan-kritikan seperti ini. Perubahan atau transformasi masih belum terlambat. UMNO perlu berganding bahu supaya mampu menangkis semua ini

UMNO diharap agar melatah dengan kenyataan Tun ini, Sebaliknya mengambil positif kenyataan tersebut dan terus melangkah ke depan.

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