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Wednesday, 25 June 2014 | MYT 11:43 AM

Caught in storm over 'beheading' remark, Perkasa's Ruslan Kassim clarifies but won't retract

PETALING JAYA: Perkasa's Negri Sembilan chief Ruslan Kassim (pic) has backtracked on his controversial remark calling for the beheading of several PAS leaders, saying it was merely a figure of speech.

Speaking to The Star Online Wednesday, Ruslan said he was referring to the type of beheading where leaders were punished by the voters through democratic means.

"I was actually referring to political beheading, which means they are subjected to punishment by the voters in the election, be it party election or the general election," he said.

Ruslan, the former information chief of the Malay rights non-governmental organisation, has come under intense fire from various quarters over his remark reportedly called for the beheading of four Opposition MPs.

This incident took place during a Perkasa rally in Shah Alam on Monday, where Perkasa members showed their support for Selangor Islamic authorities who seized some 300 Malay and Iban language bibles last January.

Ruslan said this was because the four Opposition MPs were reported to have urged for the Selangor Islamic Religious Council's (Mais) powers to be limited.

The four MPs were Khalid Samad (Shah Alam), Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (Kota Raja), Hanipa Maidin (Sepang) and Che Rusli Che Mat (Hulu Langat).

"We will chop their heads off. It is better that they die than live to become parasites of Islam," Ruslan was reported saying.

He clarified Wednesday that his statement never encouraged people to pick up the sword or parang to attack lawmakers.

"I just said that the voters should punish them because they are mocking the Sultan of Selangor, who acts as an umbrella for the religious authorities," he said.

To a question, he said the issue of apologising or retracting his remark did not arise.

"No, this is not an issue at all because we are talking in a political context, not gangsterism," he said.

When contacted, Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali responded briefly, saying "Cukuplah, cukuplah" (enough of this).

"That was his statement and he should explain it himself".

Tags / Keywords: Politics , Religion , Perkasa , PAS , beheading


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