ALOR STAR, Aug 21 – The proposed setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to reinvestigate the Memali incident is not aimed at victimising anyone, says Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah. He said instead, the RCI could be set up if there was a need and request for it from any party, including the next of kin of the victims.
“People can make all kinds of speculation. But the public wants an explanation on the issue. We are not simply planning to fix anyone. I support the setting up of an RCI (on the Memali incident) if there is a need or request for it from any quarters. If that’s what they want, an RCI should be set up as everyone wants to know the whole truth.”
Ahmad Bashah said this to reporters after closing the Kota Star district-level 1 Community,1 Road Transport Department Programme 2017 at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Abdul Aziz, here, today. He was responding to claims by certain parties that the proposed setting of the RCI was aimed at persecuting former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stated the government’s willingness to set up an RCI to investigate the incident if there were calls for it from any party, including the families of the victims. In the Memali incident on Nov 19, 1985 in Baling, 18 people including four policemen and several others were injured when police launched an operation to arrest religious teacher Ibrahim Mahmud, also known as Ibrahim Libya.
On another development, Ahmad Bashah denied the viralled claim via WhatsApp on the withdrawal of allowance for mosques in the state for the money to be channelled to the needy. “This is not true as in fact, we have suggested to the mosques to channel a small portion of contributions received from the public to the needy in their respective areas.
“In the meanwhile, the idea came about when someone lamented to me via a WhatsApp posting that there are mosques which receive thousands of ringgit from the congregation each Friday prayer while there are poor residents closeby with no rice and gas to cook,” he said.
Ahmad Bashah said he would ask State Religious, Tourism and Heritage, and Works Committee chairman, Datuk Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid to discuss with the mosques’ management across the state to take up the good initiative. “The state government will also reimburse one to one, the mosques’ collections given to the needy in their respective areas,” he added. — Bernama