Mahathir should withdraw allegation that most of the Al-Ma置nah members are PAS members as the government as no such proof


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya,  Monday): On Saturday, the Minister in the Prime Minister痴 Department, Datuk Rais Yatim said the Government would provide proof of the Al-Ma置nah group-PAS connection in its White Paper.

Yesterday, the Deputy Home Minister Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin asked PAS to hand over its full membership list to the Home Ministry to enable it to identify those involved in the Al-Ma置nah.

Right-thinking Malaysians are shocked  by these two statements which are the latest proof that government leaders are only interested in "playing politics",   turning  the Al-Ma置nah arms heists and killings into a "political football" to politicise the issue, instead of rallying and unifying Malaysians to transcend race, religion and political beliefs to stamp out religious deviationist groups which espouse violence and  prevent ethnic, cultural and religious polarisation in the country.

When Zainal asked PAS to hand over its full membership list to the Home Ministry to enable it to identify those involved in Al-Ma置nah, it was not only an unreasonable request but an open admission  that the Barisan Nasional government  has no proof whatsoever  to back its  allegation that most of the Al-Ma置nah members are PAS members.

As the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has publicly made the allegation that most of the Al-Ma置nah members are PAS members, is he prepared to apologise and withdraw such an allegation as the Deputy Home Minister has clearly conceded that the government has no proof for such an allegation.

It is ludicrous for Zainal to demand that PAS produce its full  membership to enable the Home Ministry to identify those involved in Al-Ma置nah when even school-children will know that it is for the Barisan Nasional to back up such an allegation with proof.

It is most irresponsible on the part of Zainal to try to go on a "fishing" expedition by asking for the full PAS membership list, as no one has the right to ask for the membership list of any political party.  Is UMNO prepared to give PAS the full  party membership list to enable PAS to do a similar check?

Rais statement raises the question as to the objective of the White Paper on the Al-Ma置nah arms heists - whether to give  full, fair, impartial and authoritative account or to give a tendentious version  to serve the overriding objective to establish the Al-Ma置nah-PAS link and whose credibility is immediately doubted and challenged.

It will be most unfortunate if the White Paper on Al-Ma置nah becomes a "White-Wash Paper" to absolve security negligence and breaches to allow the arms heists to take place or a "Black Paper" to falsely implicate Opposition parties or personalities to serve vested political interests - for the country will be plunged into a bitter party political dispute which will completely distract the nation and people from grave national issues, whether the stamping out of  religious deviationist groups which espouse violence which all political parties, whether in Barisan Nasional or Barisan Alternative, are agreed upon or the restoration of justice, democracy, independence of the judiciary or  good governance in Malaysia.

(24/7/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman