KUALA LUMPUR – The government is prepared to consider the need to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Memali incident of 1985 if there is a formal request from any quarters, including those affected by the tragedy, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
However, he said, so far no individual or quarters had made an official request to enable the government to consider the matter.
“It is up to the government to consider whether to agree to set up the RCI or otherwise upon receiving the request. We will wait (for developments),” he said to reporters here today.
Salleh had earlier opened the Network International-Asia Pacific Regional Organisation (UNI-APRO) Information Communication Technology Services and Post and Logistics Sector Conference.
Many people have responded to the calls to set up an RCI on Memali, including former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam who was the home minister at the time of the incident on Nov 19, 1985.
The most recent response was from Muhammad Khalil, son of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who asked for his father to be given the opportunity to explain to the public his ‘Amanat Hadi’ (Hadi’s Message) controversial speech of 1983 which is alleged to have sparked the incident.
Referring to Muhammad Khalil’s request, Salleh said the issue over the setting up of the RCI was more towards what happened during the incident and not the ‘Amanat Hadi’.
He said the primary objective now was to seek justice for all those who were affected by the incident.
“For me, in principle, justice can be delayed but it cannot be denied,” he said.
The Memali incident refers to the tragedy on Nov 19, 1985, in Kampung Memali, Baling, Kedah, in which 18 people, four of them policemen, were killed and many others were injured after police launched an operation in the face of resistance to arrest a religious teacher, Ibrahim Mahmud, better known as Ibrahim Libya. – BERNAMA