PETALING JAYA: PAS Youth today urged Nanyang Siang Pau to apologise directly to Abdul Hadi Awang, a day after the Chinese-language daily expressed regret over a cartoon depicting the PAS president and the Dewan Rakyat speaker as monkeys.
Some 150 people gathered outside the newspaper’s office here today, demanding among others that it publish an apology and directly apologise to Hadi.
“We demand that this incident and deliberate mistake not be repeated as it touches on the sensitivities of Muslims and the country,” said PAS Youth information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari.
On April 8, a cartoon carried by Nanyang under the title “Monkey Show Act” poked fun at Hadi and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, depicting them as monkeys on a tree named “Act 355”.
This referred to Hadi’s motion to table his private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 last week.
One monkey labelled as “speaker” wore a “songkok”, while another, labelled “Hadi Awang”, wore what looked like a turban.
Yesterday, the paper issued an open apology to Hadi and Pandikar.
“God willing, Islam and other religions will continue to respect each other. We want everyone to respect Islam,” Fadhli, who also heads Kelantan PAS Youth, said today.
Pandikar received flak from the opposition after he ended the Dewan Rakyat sitting, triggering accusations that he was trying to stop Hadi’s motion from being debated by MPs.
Hadi’s bill seeks to increase the maximum punishment for shariah law offenders to 30 years’ jail, 100 lashes of the cane, and a maximum of RM100,000 for fines.