Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Denounce Perkasa, remember the German Nazis, Zaid tells PM



Denounce Perkasa, remember the German Nazis, Zaid tells PM
By Zurairi AR

October 30, 2013
Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has called on Datuk Seri Najib Razak to openly denounce Perkasa, reminding the prime minister of Europe’s “mistake” in the German Nazi era which had taken a world war to correct.

In a blog posting here, former Cabinet minister picked apart the Malay rights group’s “lunatic” and “toxic ideas” and called them a “threat to security”, saying the government needs to stop allowing the Malay rights group to run amok.

“The issues this group champions are just plain ridiculous, and there is nothing in Perkasa’s struggle that merits serious consideration,” wrote the former de facto law minister.

“It has continued to cause consternation and fear among both Malaysians and also potential investors, and the Prime Minister should categorically denounce Perkasa and its allies for its disruptive politics and warmongering.”

Zaid also urged Putrajaya to not gift the group leeway in furthering their causes, even if it has a renowned patron, referring to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“The Government cannot maintain a cavalier attitude towards Perkasa, hoping that its toxic ideas will disappear and have no effect. Europe made the same mistake in the Nazi era and it took a World War to correct it,” he said.

Warning that religious bigotry will affect Malaysia’s international trade and tourism, Zaid has called on “progressive” Umno leaders to bring politics of moderation back, and stand up to Perkasa either in the Parliament or outside.

He gave the recent example of the Islamic animal slaughtering rituals—called “korban”—done in some school compounds in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, which have caused complaints from Hindu parents but were defended by Malay groups such as Perkasa.

“The Government allowed an MIC Deputy Minister to face down these racists on his own despite the fact that we have two Malay-Muslim Ministers-in-charge of Education,” he said, referring to Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan.

“I still do not understand why our top leaders are so terrified of Datuk Ibrahim Ali and Datuk Zulkifli Noordin. I really don’t,” he added, naming Perkasa’s two most prominent leaders.

Following Kamalanathan’s objection, Perkasa had said that the MIC man should raise his objections on the slaughter of cattle in schools for Hari Raya Aidiladha with the Council of Rulers if he feels so strongly against it.

Perkasa president Ibrahim said the deputy minister was making too much of an issue out of a long-practised tradition of Muslims sacrificing cattle to share the meat within the community as part of their religious duty.

Meanwhile, outgoing Gerakan acting president Datuk Chong Ko Youn had claimed this week that Najib opposed Perkasa’s extreme politics despite not making his stance public, saying this had been conveyed to the party’s leadership behind closed doors.

Perkasa had then hit back, saying that whether or not Najib agrees with Perkasa’s views, he must admit it had helped keep his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in power, while accusing Chinese voters of betraying the prime minister.

The rise of Perkasa, championed by its patron Mahathir, has pushed Najib’s Umno to tack right in recent years, hurting BN’s hold on middle Malaysia.

This has come at a heavy cost for BN’s non-Malay parties in the peninsula, with both Gerakan and MCA performing disastrously in Election 2013.

Umno has, however, kept the support of its conservative base, while the ruling coalition stayed in power even though it lost the popular vote.

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