Nanyang to send apology letter to Hadi and Pandikar

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PETALING JAYA: Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau will send an official letter of apology to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia soon.

Its editor-in-chief, Chan Aun Kuang, said this would follow the open apology the newspaper published yesterday in its news portal.

“We have made the decision to apologise openly to both leaders. It has been done and has been reported by other media.

“Now, we will follow that up by sending an official letter to them (Hadi and Pandikar).”

He said this to FMT when asked to comment on the demand made by a group of PAS members that the newspaper apologise directly to Hadi for publishing a cartoon that allegedly defamed the party’s president.

He added that PAS’ demands for a public apology in the newspaper itself would be addressed in a statement later.

As many as 150 PAS Youth members gathered outside the daily’s office earlier this morning with four demands, including that the newspaper publish a public apology and directly apologise to Hadi and Pandikar.

PAS Youth information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari was reported as saying that he hoped the incident and deliberate mistake would not be repeated as it touched on the sensitivities of Muslims and the country.

On April 8, the newspaper and its news portal published a cartoon featuring two monkeys sitting on a tree named “Act 355”. A group of monkeys were seen fighting under the tree.

One of the monkeys on the tree was drawn wearing a “songkok” and labelled “speaker”, while the other had on a “serban” (turban) and was labelled “Hadi Awang”.

The cartoon was published two days after Hadi tabled his private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) on April 6.

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.

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