Monday, November 18, 2013

What’s the big fuss, we are already in Sarawak, says Perkasa

BY HASBULLAH AWANG CHIK
NOVEMBER 18, 2013
Perkasa has been in Sarawak for the past five years and all this current outcry about the Malay rights group's entry into the state does not hold any water, said the group's secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali (pic).
The Sarawak chapter of Perkasa was set up in 2008 and it has a current membership base of 3,000 members.
“However, the chapter has been inactive as its current president Abang Abdul Nasser Abang Hadari has not been in good health.
Sarawak politicians and civil society were up in arms over a posting in Syed Hassan's Facebook page, outlining Perkasa's plans for Sarawak.
“All this talk about us forming a chapter in Sarawak is nonsense as we are already here. The talk now is basically to stop our president Datuk Ibrahim Ali from entering the state," Syed Hassan told The Malaysian Insider.
“The state government must bar these extremists from entering Sarawak,” DAP's Serian branch chief Edward Andrew Luak told the Malaysiakini news portal.
“If we give them blessings to set foot here, it would be tantamount to giving blessings for extremism to flourish in Sarawak. Sarawakians will not tolerate it," he said.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Tan Sri James Masing also said Sarawak does not need Perkasa and that he would advise the NGO against setting up a branch in the state.
“We are much better off without them,” said Masing, who is also the state minister for land development.
Syed Hassan, however, pointed out that his Facebook posting was old, stressing that Perkasa was already in Sarawak.
He added that those who accused Perkasa of being racist and anti-Christian must have a strong basis to make such claims.
“How do they see us as racists. Do we beat up or attack people? Have we invited Sabahans and Sarawakians to burn the bible?” he asked.
“Perkasa chapters in Sabah and Sarawak have been told to determine their activities. They have been given the mandate to set their own agenda. Their primary activity is to promote the Bumiputera agenda,” he said.
Syed Hassan said the criticisms by the leaders in the state were “irresponsible and naughty” aimed at creating hatred towards Perkasa in Sabah and Sarawak.
“We are out to defend Bumputera rights and have nothing to do with politics. Our members are welcome to join any party but the party must promote the Bumiputera agenda,” he said.
On calls to stop Ibrahim from officiating the Perkasa Sabah chapter’s annual general meeting on Friday, Syed Hassan said it was not a good idea.
“Perkasa Sabah has some 45,000 members and we are not enemies with Christians. We have a sizeable number of Christian members," said Syed Hassan.
The Malay rights group leader has been widely reviled for his “burn the bible” remark and threat to wage a “holy war” against Christians. - November 18, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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