Perkasa and Gertak not supported by Malay Majority: Nazri

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — If it were not for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, right-wing groups like Perkasa and Gertak would cease to exist, says Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

The minister in the prime minister’s department said the reason for the rise of these Malay rights groups was because the former prime minister had been endorsing their agenda by “speaking out” against the Najib administration.

The low turnout at the Gertak rally, said Nazri, showed Dr Mahathir did not have the support of the Malay majority.

“He is an icon. Groups like Perkasa, Gertak will die out without Dr Mahathir’s presence,” Nazri told The Malaysian Insider in an exclusive interview this week.

The blunt politician pointed out that the small number of followers within these groups indicated that Dr Mahathir had the backing of only a minority of Malays.

“There are many Malays who believe in what Datuk Seri Najib Razak is doing. (Right-wing) groups like these are just fringe elements,” said Nazri when asked to comment on the low turnout at Gertak’s “Melayu Bangkit” rally in Kuala Terengganu four days ago.

Among the leaders who had attended the rally, which attracted just some 1,000 people, was Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.

Nazri defended Ahmad’s presence at the rally, saying the mentri besar’s attendance was “out of respect” towards the former PM who ruled the country for 22 years.

“Malays are generally respectful of their elders... the only one who did not go (to the rally) was me,” said Nazri in jest.

A half empty hall listening to Dr M.

Perkasa has been vocal in opposing several of Najib’s reform plans, specifically proposals in the New Economic Model (NEM) which touch on opening up the economy and doing away with affirmative action quotas.

Dr Mahathir, who has also been critical of the NEM, has been seen at many Perkasa functions as well as the Gertak rally on Monday, which was originally scheduled for May 13 — a sensitive issue due to race riots on that date in 1969.

At the rally, he praised the government for rectifying what he called mistakes in the New Economic Model through the recently tabled 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).

Nazri said Dr Mahathir’s actions were only helping the opposition. — file pic
Dr Mahathir said the 10MP had identified problems which were overlooked by the NEM.

“(I think) he is the best prime minister the country has had. My issue with him is that after he stopped becoming prime minister he ‘menyusahkan kita’ (troubles us). Dr Mahathir must remember that the prime minister right now is Najib. He should help us. By doing what he’s doing its only helping the opposition,” said Nazri.

The law minister gave an example from the 1990s when Dr Mahathir was Umno president. He had advised Nazri, who was then Umno Youth deputy chief to not make his objections towards the appointment of Tan Sri Rahim Tambi Chik as Umno Youth chief public.

“Back then Dr Mahathir came up to me, and said that if I had any issues I should settle it within these four walls... he said I could approach him about it (the objections). Well, now he (Dr Mahathir) should heed his own advice,” said the outspoken Umno leader.

The Padang Rengas MP said Dr Mahathir was only “destroying his own legacy” by attacking the current Barisan Nasional government.

“By attacking the government, he is destroying his own legacy. He created all of us... I’m his creation, Najib is his creation. Don’t kill your own creations,” said Nazri.


  1. When Dr M speaks to a half-empty hall like this, he should realise his time is almost up. Except for a few old ladies and old men, nobody really think he should around anymore.

    He is pushing himself into shameful oblivion. All his previous achievements are going to become jokes if he continues to mock himself in public.

  2. Semuanya salah UMNO, sejak 50 tahun lalu, Melayu masih gagal, macam mana perkara ini boleh berlaku sedangkan UMNO berkuasa. Hanya golongan tertentu hidup senang lenang. Lebih mengecewakan, kaum Cina lebih hidup berjaya daripada orang Melayu. Rakyat sudah bosan dan muak dengan UMNO. Semua UMNO telah gagal.

    memang keruntuhan kaum melayu dalam semua aspek termasuk moral dan ekonomi lebih lagi dalam nilai islam adalah kerana kegagalan umno yang telah diberi oleh rakyat negara ini selama lebih setengah abad menjalankan pemerentahan yang benar-benar untuk memperkasakan kaum melayu.umno lebih suka kaum melayu sentiasa dalam kemiskinan dan leka dengan keduniaan supaya mereka percaya dan bersandar kepada umno selama-nya.

  3. Nazri is absolutey right. Instead of helping the PM with your experience and advice in private, you are still trying to steal the limelight by backing pressure groups and stirring up emotions among the different races.
    Why are you so frustrated and not satisfied with your own achievement as a PM? You had over two decades of authority and multi-billions at your full disposal to help the Bumiputras, but you choose to splash them on your world's tallest towers and mega projects. You choose to lavish huge sums on washout cronies instead of feeding the poor Malays.
    The money you control is more than enough even if you had to divide and hand them out freely to relief those who are really struggling in the kampongs. They do not make massive demands but they would have been very, very grateful to you with whatever you provide.

    I know this first hand because I hire Malay kepala and workers all year round for my small estate and I have never hesitated to hand out uncontracted medical or housing aids to anyone of them when they need it, from my limited resource.

    You keep harping that the Non-Bumiputras have robbed the nation and left little for the Bumiputras. I do not agree with you at all.

    (1). Yes, many Non-Bumiputras have become rich in Malaysia, but please note that most of them work their butts off to make it. The lazy ones get nowhere just like everyone else.
    (2). If the Non-Bumiputras have been grabbing the wealth from which they don't deserve, why are you not hauling all of them to court as Malaysia have laws that do not allow stealing from another. Why keep blaring away for your popularity contest.

    (3). The truth of the matter is that the country's finance has been, and continue to be, poorly managed by those in authority. We have lasted for half a century at the expense of the poor people, irrespective of race. Our God-given wealth is now running its final course, so please stop all accusations and let us all start to do our homework.

    As for you, dear Tun, there are plenty of things that you must do immediately to catch up with your own family as they grow up in your remaining years, and even more work for you to get closer to know your Maker. Why don't you just pack your bag and call it a day? You have taken your chances, so let it be !!
    Malaysia does not require an extra mouthpiece to furment tension at this time. She needs real doers who are not afraid to take off his coat and sweat it out on the global battlefield.