Pas to hold demo outside Nanyang Siang Pau HQ over offensive cartoon

Kalbana Perimbanayagam

KUALA LUMPUR: Pas is set to hold a demonstration outside the headquarters of Chinese-language daily Nanyang Siang Pau for running a derogatory cartoon on the party in its newspaper.

The demonstration, organised by Selangor Pas Youth Council, will be held at Nanyang's Petaling Jaya headquarters in Petaling Jaya at 11am.

A memorandum of protest is expected to be handed over by Pas reps to the publication.

It is understood that the protest will go ahead despite the newspaper having already issued an apology over the offending cartoon.

The cartoon depicted two monkeys on a tree, with one of the monkeys wearing a headgear (serban), supposedly resembling the party.

The cartoon is said to be poking fun at Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's tabling of a Private Member's Bill to increase the powers of the Syariah Courts, in Parliament last week.

Pas information chief Nasrudin Hassan said the party is offended and insulted by the cartoon which appeared in the newspaper. He said Pas will not hesitate to take legal action against the publication.

"This very rude and simply too much. Nanyang Siang Pau should retract the cartoon published in their daily and apologise to all Muslims, especially to Pas, for publishing such an insulting cartoon.

"This is shallow and uncivilised politics. We are seriously considering taking legal action against the publication," he said in a statement today.

He claimed that in the drawing, the publication had likened Parliament speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to a monkey which jumped of the tree, since he had postponed the RUU 355 debate to the next Dewan Rakyat sitting.

"You have the right to disagree but not to this extent, " he said.

Nasrudin said the drawing also had the word 'RUU 355' and several Mandarin characters, which he assumed described the situation in the Dewan Rakyat last Thursday, when Hadi Awang tabled the Bill.

The RUU 355 issue has been an ongoing campaign by Pas and it was only last year that the party was allowed to bring the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts to Parliament.