According to Nik Abduh, while Islam forbids lying, there were exceptions to the rule.
PAS central committee member Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz said he was intent on protecting the integrity of a senior party leader, which led him to lie about a voice recording allegedly proving that the Islamist party had accepted funds from its former political rival, Umno.
Nik Abduh said his initial denial to being one of the voices featured in the incriminating clip was akin to a minister having to lie about secret issues discussed in cabinet meetings.
He later admitted to being the person heard in the audio clip.
“It’s not a matter of lying or not but of wanting to protect the integrity of a member (of the PAS central committee).
“It’s the same with a government officer in a cabinet meeting. A journalist finds out, asks the minister. Of course, the minister is not going to answer (the truth),” he told The Malaysian Insight in an exclusive interview recently.
Nik Abduh reasoned that in such situations, a minister would likely feign ignorance “because it is still a secret, doesn’t need to be made public”.
“So is the act of keeping it a secret wrong? It’s not,” said the Bachok lawmaker.
Nik Abduh said while Islam forbids lying, there were exceptions to the rule.
“There is room in Islam to lie. It’s the same with envy which is a sin, but it’s not any more if our sense of envy towards the rich becomes a motivation for us to become rich.”
The audio recording went viral last year ahead of the 14th general election, a time when PAS was under heavy attack from Pakatan Harapan for receiving money from Umno.
Nik Abduh repeatedly denied the authenticity of the recording, calling it “nonsense and slander”.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s offer to settle a defamation suit with Sarawak Report opened a Pandora’s box on the RM90 million the party received from Umno. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, April 14, 2019.
However, the issue resurfaced recently after PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang settled a defamation suit with whistle-blower site Sarawak Report, which ran a story in 2016 alleging that PAS had accepted money from Umno.
After a police report was lodged, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) started a probe and recorded statements from several PAS leaders, including Nik Abduh.
Nik Abduh said when he was hauled up for questioning, MACC officers interviewing him expressed respect for his stance.
“When I was at the MACC, I told the truth, that the audio was my voice but I said I would not admit to it outside. I would admit it inside.
“They said my actions were right because as government officers, they have also been trained to do as such,” said Nik Abduh, who is the son of former PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.
The issue of the RM90 million was an old one exploited by PH to garner support and distract from its inability to fulfil its manifesto, he said.
While initially affected by the attacks following the audio recording expose, Nik Abduh said he is intent on soldiering on.
“It’s easy for me when I know that those are lies, and so I’m not afraid. If we concede defeat, we will lose.
“It’s like fire. If we allow it to spread to the whole house, it will burn down but if we fight the fire, it will stop.”
Nik Abduh said the party is now focused on ensuring that its grassroots are clear on the direction of the leadership, adding that PAS members have been reminded to channel their anger for Umno to Pakatan Harapan.
“Our advice to the people is, when you feel angry towards Umno, change it to PH.
“Because PH is more dangerous. The people are starting to question if they made the right decision (voting PH), and they are now listening to our answers.”