Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Police report against 'animal' banner

Azreen Madzlan | Mar 26, 08 8:14pm
Police reports have been lodged by PAS and PKR over a banner which was displayed during a public gathering outside the Terengganu menteri besar’s official residence, Sri Iman, in Kuala Terengganu on Sunday.

PAS Youth Chief, Salahuddin Ayub confirmed that two police reports were lodged by the Terengganu PAS Youth and PKR Terengganu Youth wings at the Kuala Terengganu and Kemaman district police headquarters respectively.

At a press conference yesterday, Salahuddin showed reporters a photograph of the banner with the words ‘Kami Nak Idris, Natang’. The word ‘natang’ means animal in the Terengganu dialect.

When contacted today, Terengganu police chief, Dato Ayob Yaakob said state police has begun their own investigations even before the two police reports were lodged.

"The matter is still under investigation. We will see how serious this is. We will charge the person or persons responsible according to the law after our findings," he said, refusing to elaborate further.

In the aftermath of the 12th general election, Terengganu, which was retained by BN, was until Monday still without a menteri besar. Umno’s incumbent Idris Jusoh, who had the backing of the prime minister and 22 state Umno representatives, was deemed as unacceptable by the Sultan of Terengganu.

MB imbroglio

It is understood that the palace was unhappy with the manner the state government led by Idris handled the Batu Burok incident on Sept 8 last year following an aborted rally by polls reform group Bersih.

The Terengganu palace instead picked Umno’s Kijal state assemby person, Ahmad Said, to lead the state and had him take his oath of office on Tuesday. Today was Ahmad’s first day of work as Terengganu mentri besar.

Following news that Ahmad was to be appointed MB, the 22 Umno state representatives sent a protest note to the palace after which they boycotted Ahmad’s swearing-in ceremony. Ahmad has also been stripped of his Umno membership.

The gathering at Sri Iman on Sunday - where the banner was displayed - was believed to be in support for Idris to continue as MB.

In the latest development, the prime minister has agreed to the appointment of Ahmad Said as Terengganu menteri besar after an audience with the Sultan of Terengganu who is also the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

The country’s monarchy have - in some cases - a constitutional right to choose their state’s leader but in the past have rarely gone against the advice of the prime minister.

Another police report on the banner was lodged by the Majlis Permuafakatan Rakyat Terengganu (Mampat) at the Kuala Terengganu district police headquarters this morning.

When contacted by Malaysiakini, it’s president, Mohamad Fauzi Abu Samah said, the use of the banner was ‘uncalled for’.

‘Stern action’ urged

"We feel disappointed because such words should not be directed to our King. It’s totally uncalled for," said Fauzi, referring to the word ‘natang’.

Mampat urged the police to take stern action against those responsible for the banner which he said insulted the King and the royal institution.

However, it has yet to be ascertained if the word in question referred to the Terengganu palace or the new Terengganu MB, Ahmad Said.

Yesterday, PAS Youth Secretary Ahmad Sabki Yusof said the words on the banner were open to ‘all kinds of interpretation’.

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