MACHANG, Aug 25 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he hoped that the government will allow him to explain what happened during the Memali incident if a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the tragedy is set up. The former prime minister said he was prepared to extend cooperation to the RCI to reveal the truth to the public.
“I welcome an RCI on Memali because we can reveal what happened. I am prepared (to extend cooperation) and I ask to be given an opportunity to explain what happened more than 30 years ago,” he said to reporters after launching the Kelantan Pakatan Harapan here.
Dr Mahathir, who was the prime minister when the incident happened, was asked to comment on yesterday’s statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak that the government did not rule out the possibility of setting up an RCI on Memali to establish the truth and gather facts and if it can prove to be beneficial.The Memali incident of Nov 19, 1985, saw 18 people, four of them policemen, killed and many others injured after police launched an operation to arrest religious teacher Ibrahim Mahmud, better known as Ibrahim Libya.
Commenting on the main cause of the incident, Dr Mahathir claimed that it occurred after certain leaders influenced political thought at that time through an ‘amanat’ (message) prior to the bloodshed. He said the villagers killed policemen, otherwise the police would not have acted. Recently, several PAS leaders and family members of the victims had asked the government to set up an RCI on Memali to establish the truth. — Bernama