Friday, April 09, 2010
Perkasa rejects Indian candidate, boycotts BN campaign
Malay rights pressure group Perkasa has decided to stay away from the Hulu Selangor by-election campaign because Barisan Nasional has decided to let an Indian candidate run.
Perkasa coordinator Zainuddin Salleh said Umno members campaigning in Hulu Selangor “do not act or speak for Perkasa” even if they were also members of the recently-formed NGO.
“Perkasa will not be involved in any campaign in Hulu Selangor,” he said.
Perkasa, headed by maverick politician Ibrahim Ali, has been publicly endorsed by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. And in an interview with Al-Jazeera last week, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said the organisation was “not so extreme” and the government could accommodate it.
Najib announced on Wednesday that MIC would be contesting in Hulu Selangor on April 25.
Perkasa, along with some quarters in Umno, had been pressuring Najib not to let MIC represent BN in the contest.
Hulu Selangor was for a long time an MIC seat until incumbent G Palanivel lost it to PKR’s Zainal Abidin Ahmad in the 2008 election by 198 votes. Zainal Abidin died of cancer on March 25.
Perkasa claims that 22,400 of the 32,020 Malay voters in Hulu Selangor are its members. There are altogether 64,500 voters in the area. Nineteen percent of them are Indians and 26 percent are Chinese. The rest are Orang Asli and others.