KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Malay rights group Perkasa lashed out at its critics today for persistently associating it with racism and extremist elements.
Its president Datuk Ibrahim Ali expressed bafflement that the group had even been named in an ongoing public inquiry looking into the mysterious disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh since February.
“Perkasa itself even though there is an extremist and racist perception, look at our records. There is not once we have acted untoward or behaved unruly.
“We only put out resolutions and legislations, comment on things like that and make police report. Why is it we considered racists and extremists?” he asked during a press conference at the group’s headquarters here.
Ibrahim also said there should not be any controversy over the group’s ties with Mumbai-born Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik who has been charged in India with heading an “unlawful association” and inciting youth to take up terror acts and join global terror groups such as the Islamic State.
He added that groups that were unhappy with Dr Zakir, like Hindraf, should face the preacher in an intellectual discourse instead of pushing for the Malaysian permanent resident’s expulsion.
“If you don’t like Zakir, face him intellectually. Don’t just place false accusations on him. Some groups like Hindraf act like they are governing this country and they know better about the country’s safety,” Ibrahim said.
The former Pasir Mas MP also claims that Perkasa’s detractors painted the group in a bad light because it objected to events purportedly detrimental to local culture.
“We are accused of so many things, best part is by parties which go against be law. Like parties wanting to organise beer festivals and gay shows.
“We are from the east and we have values so we are against things like this. But, we are labelled extremists just because we stand up for issues like this,” Ibrahim said.
Several days ago, Perkasa was mentioned during the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s public hearing to establish if there was enforced disappearance into four missing social activists, including Koh.
One of the witnesses claimed that extremist groups like Perkasa and Dr Zakir might have been involved in the case. Both parties have so far denied their involvement.