PUTRAJAYA – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad indicated today he has much material that can help shed light on the loss of 18 lives 32 years ago in Memali, Kedah during a confrontation between security forces and an Islamic sect.
However, he said he would only reveal the information if there was a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the matter.
“I have a lot of proof about Memali as I was then PM. Even though at that period Tun Musa was acting PM,” he told reporters outside the Palace of Justice court complex here, referring to his then deputy, Tun Musa Hitam.
“I do not care when, but I welcome the formation of the RCI as we all need to hear the truth,” Dr Mahathir added.
Musa had been appointed acting prime minister during the Memali incident in November 1985 as Dr Mahathir was on a visit to China at that time.
Musa who was also the home minister at that time has been blamed for the November 19, 1985 deaths of four policemen and 14 villagers, including Ibrahim Mahmud — better known as Ibrahim Libya — the founder of an Islamic group deemed deviant by the government.
The Islamic group had been linked to Opposition party PAS. Police later detained 159 other people in Memali following the shootout, including women and children.
In a statement yesterday, Musa said he supported calls for an RCI, but added that it should only be held after the next general election to prevent the information from being turned into electoral fodder by political parties.