KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Having previously denied any link with Perkasa, DAP darling Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud admitted today her mother had played a role in its founding and had once asked her to help with the Malay group’s activity.
However, the 26-year-old Teluk Intan hopeful stressed her she was not certain if mother, Yammy Samat, was ever a registered member.
“Yes, at that time she was involved with Perkasa but for few months; after that she left because she no longer believed in Perkasa,” she was quoted saying by state news agency Bernama as saying in a Teluk Intan news conference.
Dyana said her mother had been a member of Perkasa’s pro-tem committee but quit before the non-governmental organisation held its first general meeting in 2008.
She added that her mother had once asked her to help with Perkasa’s registration exercise.
The lawyer and aspiring lawmaker has disclosed her family’s Umno ties has been dogged by questions over their links with Perkasa, a vocal group that gained notoriety for its race-preferential demands that have placed it at odds with the DAP, the opposition party advocating meritocracy.
Yammy’s association to Perkasa arose when a photograph of her and Dyana flanking Ibrahim at a dinner feting Umno stalwart Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was posted online.
Ibrahim, who is known to be close to the Gua Musang federal lawmaker popularly known as Ku Li, reportedly organised the dinner to celebrate the latter’s honorary doctorate from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on March 10.
Ku Li, Ibrahim, and Dyana’s mother had been in the Semangat 46 party that splintered from Umno during the Kelantan prince’s feud with then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The photograph was believed to have been posted by pro-Umno supporters to suggest Dyana’s association with the Malay rights group that is in frequent conflict with her DAP.
She later acknowledged the photograph but denied any formal ties with the group.
“Just because I’ve a photograph with him does not mean I agree with his ideology,” Dyana told a press conference at DAP’s operations centre in Teluk Intan on May 20.
“I disagree with his stance on being an extremist,” she added.
Perkasa began life in 2008 as a one-man pressure group on Malay rights but later grew in numbers and influence after its cause found traction with a largely-Umno audience.
The ubiquity of Umno members among its ranks also led to the perception that the group was an indirect outlet for the more conservative elements of the party.
Dyana will face Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong, 53, in a straight fight for Teluk Intan.
Mah won the Teluk Intan seat in 1999 and 2004, but lost to DAP’s M. Manogaran in 2008 with a 1,470-vote majority.