Mokhtar: We will be responsible and co-operate with the authorities
KUALA LUMPUR: A Pas leader who was present during the launch of the Bersih 3.0 campaign in Mecca and Medina last month said Pas will take responsibility and will co-operate fully with the Saudi Arabian authorities.
Pahang Pas Ulama chief Mokhtar Senik told The Mole party representatives will meet both Saudi Arabian and Malaysian authorities to explain the gathering if they are requested to do so.
Mokhtar said: “Of course we will be responsible for it. We will give full co-operation with the authorities to clear the air over the issue.”
He was commenting on a news report stating the Saudi Arabian government is tracking down those responsible for organising the Bersih gathering on April 28 in Mecca and Medinah, considered by Muslims as their holy cities.
Utusan Malaysia recently reported the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency was also tracking down two opposition leaders for being the masterminds behind the gathering at D’Saji Restaurant, Hotel As-Safwah near Masjid Al Haram. (Al-Haram Mosque)
Terengganu Advisor and Co-ordinator for Mecca and Medina Abu Backer Sidek reportedly told the Malay daily that diplomatic ties between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia might be affected and stringent procedures would be imposed on Malaysians who want to perform the Umrah and Haj to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
Mokthar said he was not in Mecca solely for the campaign but had been coincidentally invited by the group of Bersih 3.0 supporters which included some Malaysian students.
Together with Pas Youth Chief Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi, Mokhtar said they did not plan to go to Mecca to launch the rally there, saying: “Why should we (launch the campaign) when the main Bersih rally was already planned in Kuala Lumpur?”
Recently Bernama reported Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that organisers of the gathering would be held responsible should Saudi Arabia prohibit Malaysians from performing the Haj and Umrah for any length of time.
“Saudi Arabia is most sensitive about demonstrations or illegal gatherings held there,” Zahid was quoted as saying.
Mokhtar however believed the Saudi government was acting under the urgings of the Malaysian Government as a way to punish those who had attended the gathering.
“I do not believe the Saudi government will act unless the Malaysian government has urged them to do so,” he added.
A blog post at Penembak Tepat had stated the launch of the movement in Masjid Al Haram and Masjid Al Nabawi was insulting as Bersih is led by Datuk Ambiga Sreevanasan, an advocate of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Malaysia.
The Mole had previously reported criticisms against the initiative to launch the campaign in the holy cities by Islamic scholar Ismail Mina Ahmad who said it was unwise and uncouth to do so as the movement’s agenda is inclined to serve a diabolical political agenda.