GEORGE TOWN: Malay right-wing group Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) has expressed regret over the performance of Hindu funeral rites in front of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's house recently.
Its Penang chief, Mohd Rizuad Mohd Azudin, said he took full responsibility of Perkasa's actions and did not have a personal vendetta against Lim but only wished to talk to him.
"I agree I went overboard with it. I accept my mistake. I should not have performed Hindu funeral rites on Lim's photo. I didn't mean to disrespect any race or religion," he said at a press conference.
Mohd Rizuad said Perkasa would not do anything to Lim's family or threaten his safety because they are educated people who are able to think wisely and know their limits.
"We are only struggling for people's rights. Therefore, our fight is with him as chief minister. We will not target his family. In fact, we will look after his family. He can be assured of that. We will not beat him up. We just want to talk," he said.
He also said demonstrations would continue at unconfirmed venues to grab Lim's attention and to compel him to respond to the NGOs' seven-point memorandum submitted to him last year.
The memorandum covered the alleged demolition of food stalls, the Bayan Mutiara development, affordable housing, and the appointment of the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP) president.
"Why hasn't he responded? Obviously, it's because he knew a mistake has been made. We have demonstrated in front of Komtar seven times but we never got a chance to meet him," he said.
As such, they decided to stage their protest in front of Lim's house on May 10 to compel him to respond.
Mohd Rizuad said they would like a "table talk" with Lim, who he claimed was only interested in politicking.
About 30 Perkasa members placed a garlanded photograph of Lim on his gate, chanted slogans and strewed posters of Lim with swastika logos at his house, on the roads, and at Komtar where the protest was repeated.
Mohd Rizuad also said he was not a samseng (gangster) as alleged by Lim because "a gangster is one who breaks things".
"I know my limits. For instance, I could have thrown my shoe at Lim if I wanted to during the anti-Lynas rally. I was very close to him but I didn't do such a thing because I know my limits. We are not stupid," he said.
Asked if he had control over his members, he said: "I can control this game. I have a group of 100 people whom I know I can control."
Refusing to divulge non-Malay or Muslim associations or Penangites who have sought Perkasa's help to resolve issues in Penang, he maintained that their demonstrations were done to champion grassroots issues.
"I work for the people. I don't receive any money from any political party. We collect our own funds to finance our activities. I don't get any glory or benefit by highlighting issues involving trishaw riders," he said.
"I don't understand how someone won't meet us despite our constant demonstrations."