LANGKAWI: The Government will investigate Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's trip to attend a meeting of Islamic radicals in Makassar, Indonesia, two years ago.
Dr Mahathir said the Government knew many PAS members had joined Islamic militant or extremist groups.
The Prime Minister was commenting on a statement that the presence of Abdul Hadi, who is also Terengganu Mentri Besar, at the meeting gave the impression that PAS was linked to militant activities.
Dr Mahathir hoped Abdul Hadi had no ties with criminal activities allegedly committed by certain people who attended the meeting.
Dr Mahathir was speaking to reporters after visiting the RM46mil cable car project here.
The Star reported on Friday that Abdul Hadi had met a group of Islamic radicals in Makassar.
Those who attended the meeting included Abubakar Ba’asyir, the detained head of the Jemaah Islamiah, which has links to al-Qaeda, and Agus Dwikarna, who led the militant Laskar Jundullah.
Agus, who is serving a 17-year jail term in the Philippines for illegal possession of explosives and suspected involvement in bombings in Manila and Jakarta, admitted he had come to Malaysia in 2000 to invite Abdul Hadi to attend the meeting.
Agus, who was secretary-general of Majlis Mujahidin Indonesia, had also attended a meeting of Rabitul Mujahidin (RAM) near the International Islamic University in Petaling Jaya.
Those present at the RAM meeting included KMM leader Nik Adli Nik Aziz, son of Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, and Hambali (also known as Riduan Isamuddin, the mastermind of JI and al-Qaeda’s operations leader in Southeast Asia), and Abubakar.
Abdul Hadi claimed he was invited by University Hassanuddin and several NGOs to give a talk at the meeting held in conjunction with the amendment of Indonesia’s constitution to provide autonomous powers to its provinces including Sulawesi.
He also claimed that academicians and Indonesian politicians including Deputy Speaker M. Fatwa attended the meeting.
In Kuala Lumpur, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi said the Home Ministry would seek Abdul Hadi's co-operation on the report.
“If we need further information, I hope he will co-operate,” he said after attending the tahlil prayers to mark the late Tunku Abdul Rahman’s 100th birthday at Masjid Negara yesterday.
In Kuantan, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Abdul Hadi must be prepared for investigations.
He said the PAS leader’s presence raised many questions and this included suspicions of being involved in activities that could harm national security.
“As a leader, he is duty-bound to explain what transpired at that meeting.
“He also has to explain whether he agreed to the use of violence by certain radical Islamic groups,” Najib said after the presentation of Colours by Sultan of Pahang Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Sultan Abu Bakar to the Royal Air Force College and five squadrons.
In Petaling Jaya, the MCA Youth urged the police to question Abdul Hadi.
Its International Affairs Bureau chief, Fam Lee Ee, said police should find out his relationship with the Islamic radicals, including Abubakar and Agus.
In Kota Baru, Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainudin Maidin said PAS had always been under the influence of foreign elements since its inception.
He said PAS had been a tool to the country’s enemy in the post-independence era when the party wanted to make Malaysia a part of Indonesia.
The Islamic Revolution during the Ayatollah Khomeini era in Iran had also influenced the party, he said.