KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — Malay rights group Perkasa today threatened to stop supporting Barisan Nasional (BN) parties MCA and MIC after it earned brickbats from party leaders for urging Muslims to burn bibles containing the word “Allah” and other religious Arabic words.
In a statement here, the controversial group explained that its president Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s (picture) statement on the matter had been misinterpreted as he had merely been referring to Malay-language bibles.
“I confirm that the Perkasa president did mention the words ‘burn the Bible’ but he did not mean the original English-language books.
“He meant the Malay-language bibles that use ‘Allah’ and Jawi writing,” Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali said in the statement.
According to recent media reports, Ibrahim had made the call on Saturday at a Perkasa convention in Permatang Pauh, Penang.
He was quoted in one news portal as explaining his reason, claiming he was not instigating communal tension but offering a solution to stop non-Muslims from infringing on the sensitivities of the Muslims, the country’s most dominant ethnic group.
After Ibrahim’s remarks, MIC leader S. Vell Paari urged the government to punish the right-wing Perkasa president or face the possibility of bleeding its non-Muslim votes.
Irked, Syed Hassan replied today, saying: “Do not force us to change the oath we took during our national congress last December to stand united in our support for all BN candidates, including those from MCA and MIC.”
He also reminded the MIC that it needed Malay votes for the coming polls if it wanted to win.
“To Vell Paari, Perkasa would like to remind him that MIC too needs the Malay votes.
“Perkasa views these [Malay-language] bibles as not the original ones and its purpose is nothing more than to confuse the Muslims to leave their religion and convert to Christianity,” he said.
Perkasa also condemned law expert Syahredzan Johan for saying that Ibrahim could face legal action under sections 298 and 505 of the Penal Code, and asked the lawyer why he had not offered his opinion on proselytisation.
Perkasa has often been at loggerheads with non-Muslims, including politicians from the MCA, MIC and Gerakan, for its controversial right-wing Malay ideals.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers have often challenged BN’s non-Muslim leaders to speak out against the non-governmental organisation, arguing that its failure to distance itself from the group would result in a loss of non-Muslim support for the ruling pact when polls are called.