Mat Sabu to sue Utusan over ‘false report’

By Stephanie Sta Maria, FMT

PETALING JAYA: PAS deputy president, Mohamad Sabu, will take legal action against Utusan Malaysia for the “distorted and false” reporting of his ceramah in Penang’s Tasek Gelugor on Augt 21.

Last Saturday, the Umno-owned daily had quoted the PAS leader as saying that the communists who attacked the Bukit Kepong police station during the Emergency on Feb 3, 1950, were heroes and not the 17 policemen who died in the attack.

Utusan also quoted him as saying that the country’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and Umno’s first president, Onn Jaafar, should not be recognised as freedom fighters because they were also British officers.

Up to 20 police reports have been lodged against Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, over the weekend accompanied by accusations that he intends to re-write history to turn Malaysia into a republic.

Yesterday, Mat Sabu declined to comment on the report, saying that he could not remember what he had said during his ceramah and needed to review it first.

However, today he told FMT that he had listened to the recordings of his speech and confirmed that Utusan’s report was “distorted and a lie”.

“I even asked all my friends who attended the ceramah to be doubly sure that I didn’t convey what was reported in Utusan,” he said. “The report is definitely false. So I will meet my lawyer after Hari Raya to discuss suing Utusan over this matter.”

According to Mat Sabu, he had mentioned the Bukit Kepong attack but not the communists or the name of their leaders.

“What I said was that Mat Indera (Muhammad Indera) is a Malay hero because he fought against British rule,” he explained. “I never mentioned the communists, that was Utusan’s exaggeration.”

Mat Indera, however, is known as a Malay communist and was said to have led the Bukit Kepong attack.

But when this was pointed out, Mat Sabu insisted that he never hailed Mat Indera as a hero for the attack or for leading the communists.

He reiterated that Mat Indera was a hero simply for fighting against British rule.

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