(File pix) Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah said his administration would extend any help and cooperation to facilitate the establishment of the RCI. (pix by SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM)

ALOR STAR: The Kedah government today said it supports calls for the setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the 1985 Memali tragedy.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah said the state government strongly believed that the setting up of the RCI would bring justice to the families of the 14 civilians and four policemen who died in the deadly incident.

Bashah said his administration would extend any help and cooperation to facilitate the establishment of the RCI.

“It is up to the Federal Government to decide on the matter (setting up of RCI) since there are strong requests from the victims’ next of kin.

“As for the state government, we fully support the calls and we are willing to extend our cooperation wherever necessary,” he said after performing a groundbreaking ceremony for a housing project in Langgar here today.

The project, comprising residential and commercial buildings to be built on a 2.6ha plot of land, is expected to meet the demand for affordable homes in Langgar.

Bashah was responding to the call by the widow of religious preacher Ibrahim Mahmud, better known as Ibrahim Libya, for the government to expedite the setting up of the RCI.

The New Straits Times had on Tuesday carried a front page report on Soleha Husin, 65, the widow of Ibrahim, who was slain together with 13 of his supporters during a violent encounter with the police in the tragedy.

In calling for the government to expedite the setting up of the RCI, Soleha said she hoped to clear her late husband's name from the lies and misleading information found in the White Paper on Memali released by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration in 1986.

Kampung Memali in Baling, Kedah, was the scene of bloodshed on Nov 19, 1985, when villagers resisted police’s attempt to arrest Ibrahim under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for deviant teachings, an allegation rejected by Pas.

Eighteen people, including four policemen, were killed and more than 100 people were injured in the clash.

Translated from Berita Harian

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