IPOH: Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham yesterday apologised to Muslims over his controversial Twitter posting which questioned Umno Youth's intention to stage a protest against an anti-Islamic video.
In a statement e-mailed to the media here yesterday, Ngeh also retracted his offending tweet.
"I retract and apologise to any Muslim who is offended by my tweet as it was never intended to be so," he said.
Ngeh's apology came less than 24-hours after his earlier statement of refusing to do so. Ngeh said he had posted the offending remark after seeing news reports of violent protests in various parts of the world.
"I want to make very clear my following stand that I strongly condemn the video and its producer for belittling the faith/religion of another person and reiterate support for the stand that has been taken by DAP on this issue, which is contained in the media statement issued by my party's secretary-general on Sept 16."
Ngeh nonetheless insisted that his Twitter posting had been "twisted" by Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders to show that he had belittled Islam.
"This is a total lie. However, having explained the context in which my question was posed, any Muslim who is still offended by the question I posed, I apologise as that was never intended."
Sources from DAP told the New Straits Times that Ngeh had been pressured to apologise over his tweet by top party leaders.
"They were not amused by Ngeh's tweet," said one of the sources.
It was noted that during a dinner organised by the Pasir Pinji DAP branch on Wednesday, Ngeh had steadfastly stood by his offending tweet.
"Even on Thursday morning he tweeted that Pas leaders were on his side," said the source.
Another source said Ngeh's tweet had severely damaged DAP's image among Malay voters.
"He was forced to apologise to safeguard the party," he added.