Pas wants proof Nik Aziz said it

(NST) BUKIT MERTAJAM: Pas vice-president Salahuddin Ayub has accused several news organisations of trying to turn the party's spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat into a "hate icon" and of smearing the party's image for the Permatang Pasir by-election.

Salahuddin said reports which quoted Nik Aziz, who is also the Kelantan menteri besar, as saying that the Islam practised by Umno members would not get Muslims to heaven were the latest such effort.

He challenged the media to reveal video recordings to prove that Nik Aziz had indeed made such remarks.

"We challenge them to provide whatever video or audio recordings in verbatim to show that Nik Aziz had uttered such words," he said at the daily Pas press conference in Permatang Pasir here yesterday.

Salahuddin said the party would initiate legal action against certain newspapers and broadcasters which had tarnished Nik Aziz's name.

On Tuesday, Nik Aziz denied that he made such remarks and claimed that his statement was manipulated.

Salahuddin has challenged Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to a debate over the status of Barisan Nasional candidate Rohaizat Othman, who was disbarred by the Bar Council for misconduct.

He said this issue affected the Permatang Pasir voters.

"If he wins this by-election he will represent the Permatang Pasir constituents and they have the right to know the truth before going to the polling centres," he said.

Zahid, who is also the state Umno liaison committee chief, has explained that Rohaizat is eligible to stand in the by-election as he has not been found guilty of any criminal offence.