PAS wants Home Ministry to review Nanyang's publishing permit

PETALING JAYA: PAS wants the Home Ministry to review Nanyang Siang Pau's publishing permit after the newspaper published a caricature deemed insulting to its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the ministry must take the necessary action against the Chinese daily for its insensitive and insulting publication.

"PAS views seriously the decision by Nanyang Siang Pau to purposely, and with intention, publish the caricature insulting both PAS president and the Speaker on April 8.

"We consider the publication in all aspects as intending not only to insult them both, but also all Muslims and Islamic law. In this regard, PAS urges the Home Ministry to review their publishing permit and take appropriate action," he said in a statement today.

In claiming the party would not compromise on the matter, Takiyuddin said PAS would also initiate legal proceedings against those responsible.

"We have already appointed our lawyer and directed that legal action be taken immediately," he said.

PAS Youth vice-chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin, in a separate statement, also urged the Home Ministry to investigate the matter, and that if found to be in violation of the law, take appropriate action, including revoking its printing licence.

"During investigations, it is also proper that the ministry suspend Nanyang Siang Pau's publication to avoid a repeat of the matter," he said.

Attempts to get the Home Ministry for comments were futile till press time.

The Chinese daily had, on April 8, published the caricature, which featured two monkeys sitting on a tree, one wearing a songkok labelled as "speaker", the other donning a turban labelled "Hadi Awang", while other monkeys fought under it.

The cartoon was published in the newspaper two days after Abdul Hadi tabled his Private Member's Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 355 on April 6.

The daily, on Monday, issued a public apology to Abdul Hadi and Pandikar Amin.

Earlier today, PAS Youth and several Muslim NGOs had staged a protest in front of the daily's headquarters here, and handed over a memorandum demanding that it apologise directly to Abdul Hadi and Pandikar.

Meanwhile, Nanyang Siang Pau editor-in-chief Chan Aun Kuang, when contacted, said they would comply with PAS' demand and follow up with official letters addressed to both Abdul Hadi and Pandikar Amin.