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ARKIB : 06/01/2002

Pas still believes Sauk incident was staged

KUALA LUMPUR Jan 5 - Pas still believes the arms robbery in Grik and the incident in Sauk two years ago was a stage play and would not apologise for its stand.

Its secretary-general, Nasharuddin Mat Isa said as Pas still believed the incident was a stage play, the statement by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asking Pas to apologise for claiming that it was stage-managed did not arise.

"We still believe the incident in Sauk was a drama and thus we consider the issue of seeking an apology does not arise at all," he told Bernama when contacted today.

Najib, who is also UMNO vice-president, was quoted by a local daily today as saying that the opposition party leader should seek an apology for lying to the people by claiming that the incident in Sauk was a drama.

He said the trial of the Al-Maunah members at the High Court had been conducted fairly and none of the facts presented showed that the opposition claims were true.

In July 2000, a group of Al-Maunah members wearing military dress had robbed hundreds of firearms from two army camps in Grik and later hid in a durian plantation at Bukit Jenalik, in Sauk.

The incident, which resulted in the death of three men, however ended several days later with the Al-Maunah members surrendering to the authorities.

Nasharuddin said the re-enactment of the incident by the government to demonstrate that the firearms could be transported using four units of Pajeros also proved that the Sauk incident was actually a drama.

He said Pas had rejected the invitation by the Defence Ministry to witness the re-enactment after its request for a question and answer session after the demonstration was rejected.

"If it was true that it was not a drama, why did they reject our request for a question-and-answer session," he said.

Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Nasional (Keadilan) vice-president Azmin Ali advised Najib and national leaders not to make further comments on the court decision regarding the Sauk incident which is currently in the appeal process.

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