KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — About 100 Perkasa members and supporters held a demonstration today in front of Wisma MCA here to protest the party’s rejection of the Utusan Malaysia-initiated “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” movement.
Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali told reporters that he handed a memorandum addressed to the MCA leadership to warn the Chinese-based Barisan Nasional (BN) component party to toe the line in regards to the movement.
Banners displaying “Utusan Malaysia, the Malays’ hope”, “MCA don’t play with fire”, and “long live Utusan” were seen at the peaceful demonstration.
On Friday, MCA deputy publicity chief Loh Seng Kok warned that the “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” movement mooted by the Malay-language daily would create an apartheid situation in Malay-majority Malaysia.
Utusan had called on its owners Umno to spearhead a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” movement involving all Malay parties, claiming that the DAP was intent on toppling the country’s Malay leadership.
Syed Hassan said the four-point memorandum, received by the MCA president’s press secretary Giam Say Khoon, included warnings to not bring up sensitive issues but that it is up to the party’s leaders to apologise for their actions.
“We’re here to show our support to Utusan Malaysia. Utusan Malaysia is not a racist newspaper. Utusan Malaysia had only defended the Malays’ rights,” said Syed Hassan, before accusing other newspapers of being “more racist than Utusan Malaysia”.
“Since Perkasa was mooted, MCA had repeatedly attacked us although we have only been defending the Malay rights, as written in the Constitution. We’re not wrong, not racist,” he said.
He warned that the party will have to face the consequences as promised in the memorandum, if they continued to attack and criticise Malay issues, without detailing these “consequences”.
“We want to see their actions after accepting this warning memorandum,” he said, when asked what are Perkasa’s expectations out of the memorandum.
“Today we will submit a warning memorandum so they will think twice before hurting the Malays again,” Syed Hassan said.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin had said earlier today that Utusan Malaysia represents the voice of the Malays and boycotting the paper will muzzle the community’s voice.
He was responding to calls by the MCA to boycott the Umno-owned newspaper after it called for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” movement.
Government leaders had sought to distance themselves from the newspaper’s clarion call last week, claiming the exhortation made in the Umno-owned daily was the personal opinion of the newspaper’s editors.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said the Malay-language newspaper will not deter the government’s commitment to his 1 Malaysia brainchild.
Perkasa patron Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also spoke out against the idea, and said it would be “disastrous” if it came to fruition.
The elder statesman said such a movement would eventually result in a two-party system, which would be dominated by the Malays and the Chinese on opposing sides of the divide.
Despite their patron’s statement, Perkasa has said it would be willing to lead such a “1Melayu, 1 Bumi” movement.