KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 ― PAS Youth and several Islamic NGOs protested against Nanyang Siang Pau today, over a caricature depicting PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia as monkeys.
In a report by The Star Online, the protesters gathered in front of the Chinese daily’s office in Petaling Jaya, with the wing’s assistant secretary Nurul Islam Mohamed Yusoff urging for the newspaper to be closed down even as it issued an apology last night.
“Not only do we call for the authorities to suspend their licence, they should also close down over their rudeness,” Nurul was quoted saying.
The protesters also crumpled sheets of the daily on threw them on the ground.
They had then submitted a memorandum to the paper which they requested to be published.
In a press statement, PAS youth vice chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin had urge the Home Ministry to revoke its printing permit, claiming it was unethical, rude, and insensitive towards adherents of other faiths.
“Maybe the Home Ministry should revoke the permits for the newspaper to serve as a lesson to others and ensure such an episode does not recur as it could lead to sectarian and religious violence,” he said.
PAS members were also reported protesting outside Nanyang’s office in Johor Baru.
Nanyang had published a cartoon titled “Monkey Act” that featured a monkey sporting a songkok and labelled as “Speaker” while another wearing a turban called “Hadi Awang” was sitting on an “Act 355” tree and clutching a wand in its left hand.
It also showed “Hadi Awang” serving what appeared to be a “hot potato”, while the “speaker” jumped from the tree, saying, “Save it for later.”
Last Thursday Pandikar Amin Mulia had postponed the debate on Datuk Abdul Hadi’s private member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, until Parliament next convened.
After allowing opening arguments, Pandikar invoked his discretionary powers to halt the Bill’s proceedings when PAS’s Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan seconded the motion for the Bill with a lengthy explanation.