SHAH ALAM, May 1 — Incumbent Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has promised a royal commission of inquiry into the 1985 tragedy of Memali if Pakatan Harapan (PH) wins federal power.
The Parti Amanah Negara representative said the rest of the four-party pact also disagreed with the official narrative of the deaths of 14 civilians and four policemen that has been touted as a black mark on the country’s history.
“We disagree with what happened in Memali. We thought that was an excessive use of, clearly a very, very excessive use of force. We have told Mahathir about this, in closed door meetings and publicly,” he told Malay Mail in an interview yesterday.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the current PH chairman who has been accused of playing an active role in the Memali incident which happened during his tenure as prime minister.
Khalid said he was serious about investigating the 33 year-old incident, saying Malaysians have a right to know what actually happened in Memali.
He promised that a PH government will also address other issues that have been swept under the carpet by past administrations.
“We are very confident that all previous cases not just the issue of Memali will be investigated and whatever that was not right will be made right. At least historically, we can put the issue to rest that this was something that should not have happened and could have been avoided,” he said.
According to official records, the Memali incident started in November 1985 when a police force of 200 officers went to arrest a Muslim sect founded by Ibrahim Mahmud @ Ibrahim Libya, was also a PAS leader, who had holed himself in a village of the same name in Baling, Kedah.
The siege ended in a shootout with 18 fatalities.
The case made headlines in recent years when Tun Musa Hitam, the then deputy prime minister and home minister, asserted in 2014 that Dr Mahathir had yet to depart for China as alleged.
Dr Mahathir had been reported to have passed all responsibility to Musa who resigned from the government in 1988.
Last August, Dr Mahathir said that the Memali tragedy would not have happened if religious leaders did not promise heaven to their followers for killing people.
PAS had previously also called for an RCI to investigate the incident, as it involved the deaths of its followers.