KUALA LUMPUR – The Malay right-wing organisation Perkasa has denied being a tool of any political party in the country.
Its president, Datuk Ibrahim Ali, said that though Perkasa appeared aggressive and extreme in defending issues sensitive to Islam and the Malays, it had also not shied away from criticising all political parties, including the Barisan Nasional and UMNO.
“If Perkasa is a tool, then we could not have sustained for over six years with more than 700,000 members currently; and we have even amended our constitution to manage Perkasa according to parliamentary constituencies.
“We want Perkasa to follow the parliamentary system, with a committee, well- structured, well-organised, and membership that increases day by day. We receive 200 to 250 membership applications daily,” he said on the ‘Ruang Bicara’ talk show televised live over BernamaTV last night.
Malaysian geostrategist Prof Dr Azmi Hassan was another guest on the programme, hosted by Sherkawi Jirim, to discuss the role of NGOs in unity of the people.
Ibrahim said numerous allegations of racism and extremism and negative perceptions were levelled against Perkasa because certain parties were worried of its impact on their political agenda.
“If Perkasa is racist, prove it. We act according to the constitution and are a valid NGO. Other NGOs have issued statements that are sensitive but they are not accused of being racist,” he said.
Meanwhile, Azmi said NGOs must adhere to their respective objectives and cannot be a vehicle for any political party because it would negate their functions as NGOs.
“An NGO must be a catalyst to national unity and should not be seen merely as an entity to function and satisfy the agenda of any political party,” he said. – BERNAMA