Sin Chew Daily published on its August 28 edition a news article titled "PAS to implement hudud law if it wins the election," quoting PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu.
On the following day, Mat Sabu told the online media that Sin Chew Daily had published a news report which was factually incorrect. He also pointed out in the party's mouthpiece Harakah that Sin Chew Daily had misinterpreted him.
Some online media had accused Sin Chew Daily of intentionally marring the image of Pakatan Rakyat through the manipulation of this issue.
As a matter of fact, our reporter conducted an interview with Mat Sabu pursuant to a statement issued by PAS president Hadi Awang after the party's political and election bureau meeting on August 25, stating that the party had the intention of implementing the hudud law through democratic process, as reported on Harakah.
Since the issue is a major concern of the Chinese community, our reporter followed up the issue to fulfill his journalistic obligations.
The reporter sought to clarify from Mat Sabu, "Bolehkah kami kata sebegini, PAS memang berhasrat membuat amendment konstitusi melalui Parlimen untuk melaksanakan semua undang-undang, termasuk undang-undang Hudud? (Can we say this, PAS has aspirations to amend the constitution through Parliament to implement all laws, including hudud laws?)"
Mat Sabu replied, "Boleh (Can)."
Mat Sabu also said his party had yet to discuss tabling the motion in the Parliament, and would only take the next course of action after Pakatan had won the next general election.
The above had become the basis of our article.
Immediately after Mat Sabu made the accusation through other media that Sin Chew Daily had misinterpreted him, the paper had been trying to contact him through phone and SMS in hope of obtaining clarification from him but to no avail.
Prior and after this incident, Sin Chew Daily also reported the views of other PAS leaders such as the party's spiritual leader Nik Aziz, secretary-general Mustafa Ali, information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and PAS Supporters Congress president Hu Pang Chaw. Their views are consistent with what had been reported in our news article.
Hu Pang Chaw, a member of PAS' political bureau, confirmed that the bureau had indeed made a decision to try to implement the hudud law.
On August 28, Sin Chew Daily also published the full statement issued by PAS president Hadi Awang on the Harakah webiste about the implementation of the hudud law. The article included many advantages and positive aspects of the Islamic faith.
In addition, we also interviewed several leaders from other Pakatan parties such as DAP and Keadilan Rakyat, and published their feedback on the issue.
We strongly believe that all our news reports on this matter have been written in compliance with the principles of comprehensive, objective and factual news reporting as required by the journalism ethic.