KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Two PAS leaders reportedly verbally harassed a reporter from Free Malaysia Today (FMT) after she asked how the Islamist party’s policies were affecting non-Muslims in Kedah.
FMT reported Islamic Affairs Minister Idris Ahmad and Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Awang Hashim as chastising its reporter Minderjeet Kaur for not speaking in Malay, and instead of answering her query, Idris made a jibe at the latter’s husband.
In its article, which reported the session verbatim, Awang was quoted telling Minderjeet to speak in Malay while badgering her about her nationality.
“You must also ask proper question, you know. You want me to respect you, you must respect us first... Can you speak in Malay?” Awang reportedly asked.
“Would you agree to your husband being a gambling addict? I ask you first?” party vice-president Idris later asked her, with the reporter clarifying that her family should not be involved in this exchange.
The duo then brushed her off and left without answering her question.
Introducing kaki buli versi walaun— HeadsUp (@HeadsUp93) November 15, 2021
Defending the duo’s action later, PAS Youth information chief Nadzir Helmi described the incident with the Malay saying bertemu buku dan ruas, or the reporter “meeting her match”.
The PAS leaders’ remarks were slammed by press group Gerakan Media Merdeka, who said that the duo have a duty to reply the media’s queries.
“It must be reminded that all reporters have the responsibility and right to ask about any issue. The one asked meanwhile, has the right to not comment,” it said.
This comes as all shops selling numbers forecast lottery draws in PAS-led Kedah will reportedly no longer have their business licences renewed by the local councils.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the move aims to tackle the ills resulting from gambling.
The move has since been praised by Putrajaya-linked missionary group Yadim, which is led also by PAS leader Datuk Nasrudin Hassan.