PAS’ Unit Amal confirms arrest of member in mufti’s torched car probe

Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin’s car which was torched on March 22 in Kangar.

PETALING JAYA: The volunteer corps group of PAS has confirmed that one of its leaders had been arrested by police investigating the recent torching of Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin’s car.

But the Islamist party’s Unit Amal director Mohd Nazree Mohd Aris said the man, who is part of the group’s Perlis chapter, was not the main suspect in the March 22 incident.

“Let the police investigate first,” he told FMT, after an aide to Asri earlier today took PAS to task following the circulation of two pictures linking two individuals, supposedly from PAS’ Unit Amal, to the incident.

The posting was made by the administrator of Asri’s Facebook account but has since been deleted.

The post had said some “reports” had suggested the involvement of the two individuals.

Nazree chided the posting, saying it could hamper the ongoing police investigation into the matter. “The inspector-general of police has already said not to ‘mendahului’ (get ahead of) the police,” he said.

Nazree, meanwhile, said the two main suspects in the case were at still at large, as confirmed by the police.

Questioning the arrest of the man from Unit Amal, he said: “Maybe there were orders to arrest my men.”

He denied that the two main suspects were members of his group.

He also said the individuals whose pictures were included in Asri’s Facebook post were not the suspects.

On March 22, two men were caught on CCTV setting fire to Asri’s black Honda Accord on Jalan Persiaran Wawasan in Kangar.

In the incident, which took place at 5.45am, the mufti’s car engine and left front tyre were set ablaze while the front and back windscreens were smashed.

Media reports had indicated that there had also been a plan to splash acid on Asri’s face.

Perlis police said someone offered a large amount of money to two men — called Mie Tomoi and Dik E — to do that but that they refused, only agreeing to cause damage to the car.

Asri’s Facebook post also questioned if the attacks were personal.

“It is true that Asri sometimes expresses views different from those of PAS’,” the post said.

“The question is, if they do not agree, does that justify the destruction of property and causing of harm to those with differing views?

“Why not just organise a scholarly debate between Asri’s views and those of PAS on the issue of Muslims calling each other infidels?”

The administrator also voiced hope that Muslims would not resort to such action simply because others had different political views.

Asri later took to Facebook to apologise for his officer’s earlier posting and said PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang could not have given such an “evil order” to torch his car.

“Other parties ought to be investigated,” he said.

Hadi was featured with one of the two individuals in the pictures that his officer had shared.

Asri admitted the posting had indirectly painted a negative perception of Hadi.

Asri, in defending this though, said the suspects may have appeared in pictures with party leaders but this did not necessarily mean that the leaders condoned such actions.

Only if it is proven that they acted on their leader’s suggestions or orders can the leaders be implicated, he said.