GEORGE TOWN: Penang Barisan Nasional today condemned Perkasa for conducting funeral rites for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng outside his residence last Thursday.
State BN chief Teng Chang Yeow said it was “a foolish act or a stupid act”.
“We condemn Perkasa, we condemn it,” he told newsmen after a BN meeting here today.
He said it was not possible for BN to control the Malay rights group’s actions because it was not under the coalition’s influence.
“They are not even friends of Barisan. How to cap them? You tell me,” Teng said at a press conference.
He brushed aside a remark that the public perception was “Perkasa is Umno, Umno is Perkasa”.
“You can ask the Umno state chairman here,” he said, pointing to Zainal Abidin Osman, who was standing next to him.
Zainal Abidin claimed that his party had “no control or hold over Perkasa and its actions”.
“Perkasa is a NGO and Umno is a political party,” he said. “We can’t control them. They won’t listen to us.”
He denounced the Perkasa demonstration at Lim’s house.
During the 10-minute demonstration, about 30 people led by Penang Perkasa chief Mohd Ridzuan Azudin placed a garland over a portrait of Lim and pasted posters with swastika signs on his gate.
They held another noisy gathering, performing similar rituals, at Komtar about 30 minutes later.
They alleged that Lim had incited racial tension between Malays and Indians, in reference to the Chief Minister’s remark last week that he felt “all Hindu temples are in danger if Umno returns to power”.
Zainal Abidin said: “Politics has its limits. Umno does not condone, support, agree or approve of the politics of encroaching into a person’s private home and family.”
Asked to comment on the failure of the police to stop the Perkasa demonstration, he suggested that the police standard operating procedure (SOP) could have been to prevent the demonstration from getting out of hand.
“If not for the police presence, the demonstrators could have leapt into the house compound,” he said.
Earlier, Teng said BN’s election machinery would be activated at all polling centres in the state immediately and mobilised to work as a united BN team.
“This is to forge close cooperation among all component parties to face the election. The state leadership will carry out surprise spot checks on the machinery.”
At the meeting before the press conference, Penang BN reshuffled leadership positions and established new committees.
Bukit Gelugor Umno division chief Omar Faudzar is its new secretary and MCA’s Bagan Youth chief David Chua is the new treasurer.
Chua replaces MCA’s Loh Nam Hooi, who now heads a procurement committee, which will be in charge of purchasing and distributing election materials.
MCA’s state women chief Tan Cheng Liang replaces PPP state chairman Loga Bala Mohan as the information chief.
Loga has moved on to head a newly established psy-war committee.
Teng takes charge of the election strategy committee while Omar heads the implementation of the strategy.