TAIPING, Aug 20 — The government is ready to set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to probe the Memali tragedy in 1985, if there is demand from any quarters, including families of the victims, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said the law must be upheld and the party responsible, held accountable.
“As home minister, I will personally study all the reports on the incident,” he said when opening the Bukit Gantang Umno division delegates conference here today.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Umno vice-president said that in upholding the law, all quarters should set aside political differences.
In the Memali incident on Nov 19, a total of 18 people, among them four policemen, were killed and many others injured after the police launched an operation to arrest a religious teacher, Ibrahim Mahmud, who was popularly known as ‘Ibrahim Libya’.Ahmad Zahid said former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam in his book entitled, ‘Frankly Speaking’ stated that he was instructed to abolish Kampung Memali because there were elements of violence and militancy committed by PAS leaders.
In this regard, Ahmad Zahid said the leader who had said he was not in the country on the day of the (Memali) incident needed to admit that he was indeed, in the country at the time.
“The Memali incident happened over two decades ago, but we have to keep in mind that the victims, families (and) children were denied their rights by the then-government,” he said.