Motion to retract Memali white paper rejected

KUALA LUMPUR: An emergency motion by Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar to retract a white paper on the Memali incident has been rejected by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.

Mahfuz said Parliament should clear its name by withdrawing the white paper based on recent claims by former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam at a forum.

Musa reportedly said that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was still in the country and had not left for China during the 1985 incident.

Until then, it was believed that Musa was the acting prime minister when the incident in Kampung Memali, Kedah occurred.

“However, the Speaker rejected it by saying that the statement was made at a forum and through the media, thus no action will be taken,” Mahfuz said.

He said the white paper, which was tabled by Musa on Nov 20, 1985, a day after the bloodshed, should be withdrawn as it did not contain the latest revelations.

“When Musa said he was prepared to reveal more facts on Memali incident, it means the white paper does not reflect the whole tragedy.

“Parliament was lied to when he signed this white paper. Therefore, we need to clear its name to protect its image,” he said.

In the incident, 18 people, among them four policemen, were killed and many others were injured after the police launched an operation to arrest a religious teacher, Ibrahim Mahmud, who was popularly known as Ibrahim Libya.

According to media reports, the clash between the police and the villagers occurred when the residents tried to prevent the arrest of Ibrahim under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for allegedly having engaged in deviant teachings.

Tumpat PAS MP Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, who was also present at the press conference, said a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) should be set up to look into the case.

“The RCI can be a solution because those responsible for the tragedy are still alive,” he said.

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