KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — PAS has slammed the involvement of a government agency in a mammoth gathering of right-wing Malay groups in Kuala Terengganu on May 13, the 41st anniversary of the country’s deadliest race riots.
The Terengganu Integrity Institute has been listed as “cooperating” with a group calling itself Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) to organise the rally with the theme “Malays arise” at the Gong Badak indoor stadium in two days time.
The May 13 rally was reported by Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia yesterday.
Utusan Malaysia said the rally will be attended by 10,000 members from 45 Malay non-governmental organisations, and is aimed at uniting the Malays. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, will be attending.
PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub called the event “uncivilised” and chastised the agency’s involvement as unethical that would taint the Najib administration’s all-inclusive 1 Malaysia.
“This is outrageous and unhealthy . The incident should not be raised at this point of time when we have already gained independence and the government is trying to promote its 1 Malaysia concept using APCO, paying RM77 million to market it.
“They said the date was chosen to commemorate the race riots. This is so uncivilised. It’s not just the Malays, Indians and Chinese but any civilised person would not want to be associated with this kind of mentality,” Salahuddin told a press conference here.
The Kubang Kerian MP said links with such event would mar the commendable efforts of the Malaysian Integrity Institute — the agency’s federal umbrella — to improve governance.
“I urge the director-general to take action against its errant Terengganu branch,” added the PAS leader.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustapha Ali who was also present at the press conference said the agency’s Terengganu branch was headed by an Umno man, Razali Idris, which explained the body’s role in the programme.
“All this May 13 sentiments is only played by Umno,” said Mustapha, in backing his explanation.
He disclosed that he contacted the Malaysian Integrity Institute director general, who claimed he is aware of the programme but said he would not be attending.
Mustapha did not reveal the details of the conversation between them nor did he mention if the director general had approved or disapproved the event.
The PAS leader then questioned Dr Mahathir’s involvement with the event. The former premier has attended several events by Malay rights groups such as Perkasa which observers say signalled his endorsement of their agenda.
“If you remember, Mahathir was a controversial figure in the May 13 riots. My question to him is: is he trying to resurrect the ghosts of May 13?” Mustapha said.