GEORGE TOWN: The ‘indelible ink’ ex-Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) major Zaidi Ahmad (pic), who was publicly slapped by a PAS supporter, maintained that he did not provoke the incident.
He said he was trying to clarify something with former Penang PAS Youth chief Mohamed Hafiz Mohamed Nordin, who was giving a speech.
Zaidi, 48, an information officer in the Chief Minister’s office, said he went to the Simpang Enam mosque in Macalister Road for Friday prayers yesterday.
“I came out from the mosque around 2.30pm and saw people demonstrating,” he said.
Videos on social media show Zaidi walking up to Mohamed Hafiz from behind while he is giving a speech.
Zaidi is then seen saying something to Mohamed Hafiz, immediately after which several supporters shove him away.
A big-sized, elderly supporter then stomps aggressively towards Zaidi.
While being shoved back to the mosque wall, Zaidi shouts: “Anggota! Tengok!” (Officers! Look!) calling out to plainclothes policemen keeping watch.
The elderly supporter slaps Zaidi before policemen can rush in.
Zaidi told The Star that Mohamed Hafiz had claimed that the Penang government blocked several state fatwas (Islamic edicts) from being gazetted.
“I approached and asked him which fatwas. There was no provocation, as I was merely there for Friday prayers and just wanted some clarification.”
He said he would not make a police report.
“An old man slapped me, and I don’t think I want to get him into trouble.”
Mohamed Hafiz, who is Jalinan Muslimin Pulau Pinang chairman, told reporters at the scene that Zaidi had provoked him by touching him, which angered his supporters.
Zaidi was in the limelight after he lodged a police report claiming the indelible ink used in the 2013 polls had easily washed off his finger. He was court-martialled and sacked from RMAF in January 2015. He joined PAS in the same month.
About a year later, he left PAS and joined the Islamist party’s splinter group, Gerakan Harapan Baru, which is now Amanah.
He was appointed as the information officer of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on March 18, 2016.
Many Malay groups in Penang are critical of the state government’s requirement that the state Fatwa Committee refer all fatwas to the state legal adviser before gazetting them.
In the just concluded state assembly sitting, state Religious Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim clarified to Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid in the House that at times, the state would advise the Fatwa Committee on certain “non-urgent” fatwas which could be pieces of advice rather than edicts.