1535: Mahathir is at the launching of Selangor Perkasa at the MPAJ Multi-purpose Hall in Hulu Kelang now.
Also with him is Megat Zulkarnain, the Gombak Umno Youth chief, according to a twitter message by an Umno Youth exco member.
Mahathir had said yesterday that the emergence of NGOs rooted in Islamic and Malay causes proves that the Malays now have less confidence in the political parties that are supposed to represent them. On 24 January, Perkasa launched its Pahang wing and days earlier, another wing in Malacca.
The Perkasa website reported:
Dengan mengambil contoh Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa), beliau (Mahathir) berkata, NGO itu dilihat sebagai antara yang paling berpengaruh di kalangan masyarakat Melayu kerana prinsip perjuangannya.
”Ada di kalangan masyarakat Melayu merasakan UMNO tidak lagi berupaya mempertahankan (kepentingan) mereka, jadi kita lihat kemunculan NGO seperti Perkasa.
”Walaupun mereka (Perkasa) aktif, namun (sebenarnya) UMNO masih lebih berpengaruh daripada NGO-NGO ini.”
Perkasa, which means ‘strengthening’, is led by its pro-tem president, Ibrahim Ali.
Ibrahim has suggested that PKR MP Zullifli Nordin should emulate him and become an Independent MP so that “he can struggle for Islam without being bound by any party position”. Ibrahim reportedly said he would give way to Zulkifli so that he could struggle with Perkasa: “There are similarities in the struggle of Perkasa and Zulkifl in that both have no fear in defending religion, race and country.”
Perkasa, which is now being seen as a pressure group for Umno, has also taken a position against the use of the term “Allah” by non-Muslims. According to its website, among the groups that participated in a demonstration on 2 January outside the Federal Territory Mosque were the Perkasa wings from Perlis, Selangor and Perak; the Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia; and the Umno Overseas Alumni.
But Perkasa has also condemned the recent attacks against places of worship.