Dr Mahathir Mohamad has stuck to his guns on the Memali incident, saying police were retaliating after four officers were killed.
“If you come with parangs and kill police officers, they must be prepared to face retaliation from the police.
“The police would have wanted to protect themselves,” said the former premier in a video posted on Facebook.
The Memali incident in 1985 saw four police officers and 14 villagers, including PAS leader Ibrahim ‘Libya’ Mahmood killed during a raid.
The police had wanted to arrest Ibrahim after he was accused of leading a cult.
Mahathir had given a similar response during Sunday’s “Nothing to Hide 2” forum when asked how those killed in Memali could possibly be criminals.
However, his answer was cut short after a riot broke out among the audience, with slippers, bottles, chairs and flares being used as projectiles.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has said that Mahathir’s unsatisfactory response to the poser on Memali had triggered the riot.
The son of a Memali tragedy survivor meanwhile, has said that while Mahathir may not have pulled the trigger, the blood of those who died are still in his hands.
Mahathir was prime minister at the time of the Memali tragedy, but had for a long time insisted he was not in the country when the clashes occurred.
In 2014, he admitted to being in Malaysia when the police clashed with the Kampung Memali villagers.
However, he insisted that any responsibility should fall on Musa, who was acting prime minister at the time as well as the home minister in charge of police.