May 13 rally: Perkasa boss slams ‘racist’ Soi Lek
By Rahmah Ghazali
PETALING JAYA: Malay pressure group Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali is disappointed that the May 13 “Melayu Bangkit” (Rise up Malays) gathering in Kuala Terengannu has been postponed.
The independent Pasir Mas MP also singled out MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek as topping the list of “selfish” politicians who have blown the issue out of proportion.
Speaking to FMT, Ibrahim said the objective of the rally, which was slated to see the presence of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad as well, has been misinterpreted.
“It was to be held in a stadium and the speakers were supposed to present their papers. Besides, Mahathir was to make the keynote address, focusing on various Malay issues.
“This was meant to be a peaceful event and had nothing to do with racial riots,” he added.
The rally was called off following criticisms from both sides of the political divide on the ground that it would coincide with the 41st anniversary of the May 13, 1969 racial riots.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim accused the MCA president of being a “racist” for urging Umno leaders not to attend the rally as it went against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia concept.
“It is those who make such statement who are racists. Look at Chua, he has been meeting Chinese NGOs and making all kinds of demands. But when others do the same, they are considered racists,” he said.
The salvo against Chua did not stop there, as Ibrahim accused the MCA leader of attempting to win over the Chinese community with such tactics to overshadow his “moral issues”.
Previously, Ibrahim had told FMT in an exclusive interview that Chua, who was embroiled in a sex scandal, should quit as he is morally unfit to lead the party.
Ibrahim also saw nothing wrong with the initial plan to hold the rally on May 13 (yesterday).
“What is wrong with that? If the event intends to unite the Malays because they are the majority in the country, why not?” he asked, adding that “dark episodes” are commemorated in other countries as well in order to serve as a deterrent.
“Some countries commemorate the Nazi massacre, Israel’s invasion of Palestine or the Serb’s attack against Yugoslavia. They commemorate the dates so that such things do not happen again,” he said.
Mahathir to give it a skip?
Meanwhile, Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak), the main organiser of the rally, will meet next week to decide on a new date and venue for the event.
The movement’s president Razali Idris said Gertak prefers to keep a low-profile on the issue for now since there was so much “fitnah” (slander) regarding it.
“The Malays were upset and angry when the event was postponed and Mahathir said he might not come. Actually, the politicians (who are against the event) have ignited the racial fire,” he told FMT.
“Besides, the May 13 (riots) was not our main topic. We only wanted the Malays to reunite like the way we did before independence,” he said, adding that the date was chosen “out of convenience”.
“We have been wanting to hold the event since January and (Gertak and Mahathir) finally agreed to hold it on May 13,” he explained.
Razali also defended Gertak’s intention to unite the Malays, saying this had nothing to do with politics despite his position as the Marang Umno deputy chief.
“I even invited PAS state representatives in Terengganu. It is just a coincidence that I am an Umno member. Even some people in Umno don’t agree with my action, arguing that this will scare the non-Malays.
“But the Chinese here (in Terengganu) were also interested in the programme and we would not have chased them away if they had wanted to take part,” he said.
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