Admittedly it's been a while since last I did battle with Suse ... however, if memory (and an awful lot of Solaris exposure since) is anything to go by, startup scripts are all written using sh(1) since that is guaranteed to be available at boot time - perl is typically installed on a partition that gets mounted quite late into the boot sequence and could quite concievably cause the machine to fail to boot properly (if at all).
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