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Monday, August 29, 2011

Mat Sabu may sue over 'communist heroes' report

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu has lashed out at Utusan Malaysia over its report that suggested that he had praised communist insurgents in the Bukit Kepong incident in 1950 as heroes.

mat sabu pc with salleh man 190811In a press conference at the PAS headquarters in Perlis, Mohamad Sabu (left) said his speech at Tasek Gelugor in Penang on Aug 21 was heavily distorted in the Umno-linked daily's news report.

“I have listened to my speech again and compared it with the with front-page and page 5 reports by Utusan (on Aug 27) and its subsequent reports the next day.

“I believe that Utusan had put a spin on the article and exaggerated it to slander me and PAS,” said Mohamad, who is widely known as Mat Sabu.

He said he would be meeting his lawyers after the Aidilfitri celebrations to discuss possible legal action.

'Who is Goh Peng Tun?'

He said he had never referred to Muhammad Indera as a communist during the speech.

“In fact, (the newspapers reported that) the leader of the insurgents was Goh Peng Tun. I have never heard this name until I read Utusan. These are two examples of how Utusan is trying to slander me,” he said.

Mat Sabu in his speech mentions Muhammad Indera as the leader of communist attacks on the Bukit Kepong police station on Feb 23, 1950.

He argued that come every Merdeka Day anniversary, television programmes on the Bukit Kepong incident would be aired.

He said those who attacked the police station had contributed to the country's independence as the police at the time served the interestsnofn the British colonial master.

Mat Sabu said he raised this point to explain how contributions to independence from non-Umno elements were wiped out from history books.

'Use the ISA'

The Bukit Kepong incident had been frequently referenced as a symbol of Malay nationalism and bravery in the struggle against a communist insurgency.

The incident left 25 people dead, including 14 policemen and some of their family members, including several wives who took up arms against the insurgents.

Utusan's coverage of his speech triggered backlash from various historians, police figures and family members of the policemen killed in action.

Former Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan and Ahmad Jamil, the son of Jamil Md Shah who led the defence of the Bukit Kepong police station, both want Mat Sabu incarcerated under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for his speech.

More than 20 police reports have been lodged against Mat Sabu and the police have confirmed that he is being investigated under Section 505 of the Penal Code for making statements conducive of public mischief. - Malaysiakini

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