By Aedi Asri
KUALA LUMPUR: Though Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali is supportive of PAS’ efforts to empower the shariah courts, he is critical of the way the PAS-led Kelantan government has handled the issue of logging in Gua Musang.
“Good that PAS has Islam in its name but it has stupid leaders who only know how to chop down trees.
“I’m not pointing at any PAS leader in particular, but I’m disappointed,” he said in a press conference at the Perkasa headquarters here yesterday.
Ibrahim was referring to the Kelantan government’s logging activities in Gua Musang which had led to a standoff with the Orang Asli, who claimed their way of life and their livelihoods were increasingly threatened by deforestation.
Since September last year, the Orang Asli have built illegal barricades around the Balah permanent forest reserve to prevent transportation of timber.
On Feb 7, Ibrahim urged the Kelantan government to immediately cease all logging activities in Hulu Kelantan as they were affecting the lives of the Orang Asli community there.
“Just stop giving excuses such as the federal government is not giving you enough funds or that you’re not getting oil royalties.
“A creative leader will be able to develop Kelantan. But unfortunately, we have stupid leaders.”
Meanwhile, Ibrahim said while Perkasa would not officially participate in PAS’ Himpunan 355 rally, it would not stop its members from attending.
“Perkasa members can take part in the rally; just don’t wear the Perkasa t-shirt. We don’t want to be seen to be supporting any political party.”
He said he hoped liberal Malays and non-Muslims would refrain from attacking the rally and instead channel their views in a civilised manner.
Last week, Kuala Lumpur City Hall gave the green light for the rally to be held at 3pm on Feb 18 at Padang Merbok.
However, PAS may clash with secular group Bebas, which plans to hold a counter-rally at the same venue on the same day to protest PAS’ proposal to give shariah courts greater punitive powers.