Malaysia

Perkasa burns copies of Star, rubber snakes in protest

By Clara Chooi
August 14, 2011

Perkasa members hit a burning effigy during a protest outside Parliament, June 7, 2010. — File picPerkasa members hit a burning effigy during a protest outside Parliament, June 7, 2010. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Malay rights group Perkasa torched and stomped on copies of The Star newspaper and rubber snakes today to express fury at the daily’s controversial “Ramadan Delights” supplement and an MIC division leader.

Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali also branded the English daily as “anti-Islam” for including non-halal eateries in the dining supplement, saying it was likely done to test the Muslim community’s patience.

“Do not [deceive] me and deny this... we know who is the owner of Star, who are their editors... they always disturb the sensitivities of Muslims and the advertisement was meant to do the same.

“I would like to tell all Muslims to brand The Star as anti-Islam and anti-Malay,” he told a press conference at the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman here after chairing a Perkasa leadership meeting earlier.

Ibrahim pointed out that no leader from MCA or Gerakan has condemned The Star over the juxtaposition, indicating their lack of respect for Islam.

Later, a group of Perkasa members proceeded to burn copies of the daily outside the clubhouse and included several rubber snakes in the burning pile.

They told reporters that the snakes represent the Indian community, and were being burned in retaliation to Bukit Bintang MIC division leader T. Ananthan, who had brought a live frog to the MIC annual general meeting last month to express his disgust with Ibrahim.

Ananthan had called Ibrahim a “political frog” when slamming the leader for questioning the non-Bumiputeras’ loyalty to the government after MIC complained about the Public Service Department (PSD) for not offering scholarships to deserving Indian students.

“He brought a frog so we brought snakes to represent the community,” Perkasa Youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris told reporters.

He added that Perkasa would not forgive The Star newspaper until it issues a satisfactory apology to Malaysians for its supplement.

He said the paper’s apology, printed on the third page of its Friday edition, was insufficient and showed a lack of sincerity.

“If they do not apologise, we hope the ministry will revoke their printing licence,” he said.