Assaulted aide will not lodge report
GEORGE TOWN: Former Royal Malaysian Air Force senior officer Major Zaidi Ahmad, who was slapped by a protester outside Simpang Enam Mosque here yesterday, will not lodge a police report.
Zaidi, who is now Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s information officer, told the New Straits Times that he would not report the matter as the man who slapped him was an old man.
Instead, he blamed Jalinan Muslimin Pulau Pinang chairman Mohamad Hafiz Mohamad Nordin for the incident, saying the latter had slandered the state government by saying “the state government blocked the issuance of fatwa”.
“When I confronted him (Hafiz) and asked which fatwa was blocked, he could not answer. Since I kept asking him, his supporters got angry and one of them slapped me.
“They slandered people and expected me to keep quiet?
“How would you feel if people slandered you?” he asked.
The incident happened when a commotion broke out during a demonstration outside the mosque after Friday prayers.
The demonstration, organised by a group of Muslim non-governmental organisations and Pas members, was held to voice out their dissatisfaction over the state government’s alleged interference in the issuance of fatwa in the state.
Zaidi, who was at the mosque, was said to have approached the group and a scuffle ensued before several demonstrators shoved Zaidi, who was heard shouting “bodoh” (stupid).
Plainclothes policemen, who were in the area, tried to defuse the situation and requested Zaidi to leave. He, however, decided to remain at the mosque and questioned the group’s motive for holding the demonstration.
Speaking to newsmen later, Hafiz said it was Zaidi who provoked them.
“He touched me, resulting in the others shoving him.
“Anyway, we are planning to lodge a police report,” he said.
Earlier, the group of protesters held placards, demanding that the state government stop its alleged interference in the issuance of fatwa in the state.
They also called for Pas’s sole assemblyman Datuk Salleh Man’s sitting in the state legislative assembly to be moved to the opposition side since Pas had severed ties with DAP and PKR.
Penang Pas had recently demanded the DAPled state government retract its circular on the issuance of fatwa in the state.
Its commissioner, Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff, who deemed the move as interfering in Islamic matters, said to date, the state government had yet to retract the circular despite calls from Pas and the Muslim community.
The circular makes it mandatory for all fatwa to be approved by its state executive council before being gazetted.
Early this year, Penang Pas Youth had revealed that there was political interference by the state government in the appointment of the state mufti and the issuance of fatwa.
When I confronted him (Hafiz) and asked which fatwa was blocked, he could not answer. Since I kept asking him, his supporters got angry and one of them slapped me.
MAJOR ZAIDI AHMAD Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s information officer