Monday, March 08, 2010

Ibrahim Ali: I'm not racist!

Turning the tables on those who called him racist, the Perkasa Chairman shot back that it is his detractors who are racists for going against well established national policies grounded in the federal constitution. NONEIn this second part of a three-part Malaysiakini exclusive, Ibrahim (left) explained that crusading for Malay rights is his passion and has been his fight from day one in politics and as a Malay activist. Ibrahim lashed out at those who have accused him of taking advantage of Umno's apparent failure to advance the Malay agenda, disassociating what he is doing totally from the party. His fight, he said, is independent of the party and and adds value to the Malay cause. Excerpts of the interview follow, with content edited for language and brevity.

Malaysiakini: They say you are a racist because of what you have said?
Ibrahim Ali: I have no regrets. I feel proud of what I've said, because what I've said is true. I don't give a damn about who wants to criticise me, say bad things about my statements or those who say I am a racist. They are even more racist than I am. Based on their statements because they have no heart, they are crass.

What about MCA's recent criticism against you?
The allegations from MCA, I don't have to entertain because that is a political statement of a political party who wants to compete with DAP. To show who is more Chinese. Let them go at it.

NONEWhy must Perkasa and MPM (Majlis Perundingan Melayu) defend the Malays; isn't this Umno's role? Don't ask me that, ask Umno. Nothing to do with me, I have my own NGO, Perkasa, I want to play a role, fighting for my race, I proceed. What other parties do or not do, you have to ask them. Nothing to do with me.

Did Umno fail in this?
Nothing to do with me, I won't comment. Nothing to do with me. It all depends on our individual perceptions. To Umno, it has succeeded. For example to Premier Najib Abdul Razak, he might think what he is doing now is successful. Who says they did not try? What Perkasa and NGOs are doing is value added. To make things better.

Isn't Pemuda Umno the usual pressure group for the Malay Agenda? You have to ask Pemuda Umno about that. Nothing to do with me.

Are you trying to take advantage of Umno's inaction? No, as an activist and a politician, all the time I fight for my race. What I am doing has nothing to do with anyone else. This is about sincerity of heart and our awareness. NONEPeople's perception may vary of course. When we do it some may be jealous; when we succeed, some may not like it. Others have come up with all kinds of interpretations.

Including the question you asked just now [about Ibrahim taking advantage of Umno's inaction]. That is also a question that may create the wrong impression. But I don't mind all that. Everyone can make their own contribution. And I make my contribution with all sincerity. There is no connection to anybody not doing anything, I am not taking advantage of anything. I have been fighting for religion, race and the country from long ago. It was not because of what is being speculated.

Some say that you are using your NGO to advance your political career? Whoever said that, it's up to them, that is their perception. In politics, I am already am a member of Parliament. Why would I need an NGO for? And before this there were many NGOs which I am a member of. This is what I call a dirty question. Yes. Trying to provoke me and ridicule me.

Do you believe the Malays are threatened? Yes. But more like 'threatened' as in inverted commas. But we have been insulted and derided. As was published on websites, including Malaysiakini, in portals, in blogs, in Facebook, in Twitter.

The Malays are being derided? They all say Malays are racist. But are they themselves not racist? They are the ones who are racist because their demands goes against national policies. Look at their demands in issues relating to the Chinese education, this goes against the national education policy. That is racist! They are demanding to 'integrate' the cultures. This goes against the national culture. That is racist!

What do you mean by 'integrating' culture? Well, it is about making everything equal, everything the same and freedom in everything. Some want to put their religion at the same level with Islam.

To equate the Malay language with other languages. Then the special position of the Malay rulers. These are the basics of our constitution being messed with, being touched. We in Perkasa, in our crusade, we follow the constitution. [We fight for] the principles that are guaranteed in the constitution.

Those who want to ask for help for vernacular schools, want to add more and ask for recognition, that's not in the constitution and against the National Education Policy.

All those special rights are already enshrined in the constitution, so why bother? NONEWhat if there are those who touch those issues? If there are those who want to amend those provisions?

If there are those who want to challenge the provisions, MPM and Perkasa, we are the shield [for the Malays]. We want to see what Dong Jiao Zong wants, we want to see what the now outlawed Hindraf will demand.

If their demands goes against the constitution, we will be a shield against it. We will be a shield against all those that may infringe upon the constitution.

Are you not afraid that Perkasa or MPM will be outlawed like Hindraf? That depends on the government. It depends on our activities. Is it a danger to national security? We are registered, we do everything openly. What we speak about is based on the constitution.

Have we questioned citizenship, or talk about sending away some races from the country? Never. Until today I have never had any police report made about my speeches. Others have been reported many times.

So unlike what some say, MPM is not trying to inflame racism but instead is trying to soothe the situation? Not to soothe, the question is, we are fighting for what is guaranteed by the constitution. We believe if we defend the constitution and if all support us, it will help towards national unity and harmony.

You have been arrested under ISA. Are you afraid that it would happen again? No problem for me. I support ISA and if I am to be arrested under ISA, I wouldn't complain. I am a person who takes responsibility for whatever I do. So when it comes to ISA, to me, it is about national security.

We as activists, if we believe in our fight, we should fight for it. If we are arrested under ISA, we shouldn't complain. It's two different things. That's why I don't give mind to the ISA.

Why are you fighting for? I am not that passionate about rank, about position, about a big house or a wealthy lifestyle. I am passionate about the fight for Malays, bumiputeras and Islam.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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