'The Star' giving liberals space to belittle Islam, claims Perkasa chief

Former Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad (Centre), Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali (right) and Perkasa deputy president Datuk Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar at Perkasa AGM in Kuala Lumpur, December 14, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Former Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad (Centre), Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali (right) and Perkasa deputy president Datuk Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar at Perkasa AGM in Kuala Lumpur, December 14, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — Datuk Ibrahim Ali today accused English daily The Star of encouraging “liberals” to write articles challenging the sanctity of Islam while ignoring Perkasa’s statements and views.

Ibrahim, who is suing The Star CEO Datuk Wong Chung Wai for defamation, insisted that the group is not extremist and was merely defending Malay rights.

The Star is giving opportunities for liberal writers to belittle Islam, our statements on the other hand are not aired,” the Perkasa president said during his speech at the group’s annual general assembly here.

According to a report on The Star’s news portalon Friday, Ibrahim sent a letter of demand to Wong last month, claiming that the newspaper CEO’s article titled “A mind-boggling spin” published on November 2, which questioned the lack of prosecution against Ibrahim’s alleged threat to burn Bibles, contained defamatory statements.

Responding to the letter, Wong said: “I will see him in court”.

“No one can stop the voice of moderation and reasoning. Malaysia has no room for extremism,” Wong was quoted in the news portal yesterday.

Today, Ibrahim maintained that the newspaper CEO had attempted to “attack” him in his column.

He also alleged that Wong was trying to influence the Attorney-General and the police.

“I will fight them in the court to the very end.

“MCA’s newspaper is being used as a tool by DAP,” the Malay rights leader declared to Perkasa members.

Ibrahim’s alleged call in January last year to burn Malay-language Bibles containing the word “Allah” had raised a furore with lawmakers and civil groups who called for the Perkasa president to be charged with sedition.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers, however, said last October that charges would not be pressed against Ibrahim because his remarks lacked a “seditious tendency” and were meant to defend the sanctity of Islam, not to incite religious disharmony.