KUANTAN, Aug 24 – There is no need for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to re-investigate the Memali tragedy which occurred in 1985, according to the Socio-cultural Adviser to the Malaysian Government Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim.
He said although the government had the power to set up the RCI, it should be done based on whether there was new evidence or a significant matter that had not been explained. “What good does a re-investigation do? If everything were to be ‘RCI-ed’, then the government will have nothing else to do than digging up old cases and table the findings again.
“Right after the Memali tragedy, an explanation was made and I was the Memali spokesman then, as I was also the then Information Minister. All questions had also been answered by Ibrahim Libya’s father (Mahmud Senapi). So, there is no need for an RCI now,” he said.
Rais said this to reporters after opening the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Foundation Centre Orator Corner in Gambang here today, which was also attended by IIUM rector Prof Dr Zaleha bt Kamarudin.
Rais also opined that all questions about the tragedy had been well-answered and explained in the Memali White Paper tabled by the government in Parliament. “If there were questions that had not been answered in 1985 (which required the setting up of the RCI), then list out the questions. Which part of the White Paper were they not satisfied with?
“The proposed setting up of the RCI must be studied. Yes, the government has the power to set up an RCI anytime, but what are the basis and the objectives?” he said. In the tragedy on Nov 19, 1985, a total of 18 people, including four policemen, were killed and several others injured after police launched an operation in Kampung Memali, Kedah, to arrest a religious teacher, Ibrahim Mahmud, who was popularly known as Ibrahim Libya. — Bernama