Malaysia

Who’s in charge? Najib or Ibrahim, asks DAP

The 'race' column in government forms is still needed, says the prime minister. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 8, 2014.The 'race' column in government forms is still needed, says the prime minister. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 8, 2014.Who is running Putrajaya – Perkasa or Barisan Nasional? DAP has asked, following the prime minister’s decision to maintain the "race" column in official government forms, backtracking from an earlier announcement by a minister that it will be removed in stages.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today questioned whether Datuk Seri Najib Razak or Malay rights group Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali was in charge of the federal government.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun said Putrajaya had decided to do away with "race" in stages.

However, Ibrahim threatened to take legal action opposing Putrajaya's decision to drop the "race" column from official government forms, claiming it was a violation of the Federal Constitution.

Today, Najib said there were no plans to drop "race".

"The statement is inaccurate. We did discuss it in the cabinet but our decision was to let it remain," the prime minister had said.

Najib reportedly said "race" was still needed to ensure "every community is given fair consideration" and not left out from government policies.

Lim said Najib's announcement on a subject, which had no value, raised questions on whether BN or Perkasa was running Putrajaya.

"Joseph Entulu meant well with his announcement yesterday as the 'race' column does not add value in forms such as 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M)," Lim said.

"Removing 'race' would be a step forward towards creating a single national identity."

Yet after more than 50 years of independence, organisations, such as Perkasa, were still tearing the social fabric of national unity, Lim said in a statement.

He said extremist and racist groups like Perkasa had acquired such prominence that they enjoyed legal immunity for making violent remarks against non-Muslims.

"Not only do they make inflammatory remarks, but they appear to also influence government policies and decision-making at ministerial levels," Lim said. – May 8, 2014.

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