The Malay Mail Online 5 July 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 — Malay rights group Perkasa and Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia have apologised to Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin Tuanku Muhriz for accusing the president of think-tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) of saying things that he did not say about the Federal Constitution.

IDEAS attached to its press statement today a letter by Perkasa apologising and retracting the statements made by Perkasa information chief Hassan Basri Muhammad in an article published on Perkasa’s website on June 1 that made reference to Tunku Zain, who is also a Negri Sembilan prince, as well as an apology and retraction from Utusan of an article quoting Hassan Basri that was published on its website on June 2.

“I am happy that Perkasa and Utusan have admitted their mistake,” Tunku Zain said in the statement by IDEAS.

“This public apology enables us to acknowledge that humility and forgiveness are intrinsic to the Malay culture that we all wish to celebrate and preserve, particularly as Ramadan comes to a close,” he added.

IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said his think-tank takes false accusations very seriously.

“We welcome all forms of criticism from external parties, but I ask that they please do their homework first before jumping the gun,” he said.

IDEAS sent a letter of demand to Perkasa and Utusan last month, saying that Hassan Basri had made a false statement attributed to Tunku Zain and that Utusan did not check the accuracy of the statement with the think-tank.

In his speech at a conference last month, Utusan reported Tunku Zain as saying the Federal Constitution has been changed to accommodate the interests of certain individuals in the country.

Perkasa’s Hassan Basri then accused Tunku Zain of “offending” the Malays and said the prince needed to be “schooled” again on the Federal Constitution, claiming that the latter’s words echoed those from “DAP and chauvinist Chinese”.

Tunku Zain has denied making the remarks in question.

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