Karpal: Mat Sabu must retract remarks
To arrest a worsening situation, Mat Sabu must apologise for his remark on Bukit Kepong incident.
GEORGE TOWN: DAP national chairman Karpal Singh today called on PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, who is better known as Mat Sabu, to retract his ill-adviced remarks on the Bukit Kepong incident that happened on Feb 23, 1950.
Karpal said if Mat Sabu retracts his remark immediately, then he can arrest the negative political implications on Pakatan Rakyat from getting worse.
Speaking at a press conference in Air Itam, Karpal said Mat Sabu’s remarks, in which the PAS leader allegedly hailed the communist attackers as ‘independent heroes’, can be “very damaging” to Pakatan political prospects, especially with the general election around the corner.
He said Mat Sabu’s alleged remarks were also insensitive to the families of the victims.
“Mat Sabu should retract immediately and maybe explain his remarks.
“He should do it to assuage the feelings of families of those who perished in the attack.
“On whether he wants to apologise or not, I will leave it to his good senses,” said Karpal, the Bukit Gelugor MP during his constituency visit.
Mat Sabu erred
During a political rally in Tasek Gelugor on Aug 21, Mat Sabu allegedly said in his speech that “nearing Merdeka, the Bukit Kepong clip will be aired”.
“In Bukit Kepong, the police were British policemen. Those who attacked Bukit Kepong were the true freedom fighters. Their leader was Muhammad Indera.”
Karpal also noted that the historical attack on the police station happened some seven years before Malaya gained independence from the colonial British administration.
In the attack, the station was razed to the ground and 13 policemen, six Home Guards, three women and a child were killed.
After the emergency was declared in 1948, he said the communist was involved in an armed conflict with the British administration.
As a result, he said the Emergency Regulations 1948 was enacted at the height of communist insurgency and, the security forces all came under the British.
He said the police personnel and Home Guards manning the police station had every right to repel the attack.
“Therefore the attack on the police station must be viewed in its proper context,” said Karpal.
Internal check and balance
Mat Sabu had reportedly said that he was contemplating suing Umno-owned daily, Utusan Malaysia, for allegedly distorting his speech in its Aug 27 article and in subsequent reports.
Utusan Malaysia aside, another Umno-controlled daily Berita Harian has also hit the town with anti-Mat Sabu headlines on the news.
Karpal said he was not against Mat Sabu, and considered the PAS leader as an asset to Pakatan.
He also dismissed suggestion that he should have exhausted internal avenue first to resolve the issue before going public in the media.
“I don’t think I broke any Pakatan code … it’s a serious issue that needed to addressed immediately.
“There must be an internal check and balance on statements by Pakatan leaders,” said Karpal, a lawyer by profession.
More than 20 police reports have been lodged against Mat Sabu.
Police are investigating him under Section 505 of the Penal Code for making statements conducive of public mischief.