|Harakahdaily,||08 May 2012|
Announcing the decision, PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (right) said the party's legal bureau had been instructed to file the suit in coming days.
While describing Rahim as "extremely ill-mannered", Tuan Ibrahim also took to task NSTfor publishing the statement, saying that the action only further damaged the paper's reputation in the wake of its libelous claim last week that Australian senator Nick Xenophon was 'anti-Islam'.
"Rahim's background and past are publicly known and if the newspaper had any reputation, it would have done some checks before his statement was splashed in such a defamatory manner," said Tuan Ibrahim.
On its page 6 today, NST blasted a headline saying Kelantan Menteri Besar Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat "is father of kafir", followed by smaller sized sentence attributing it to Rahim, who is peeved by Nik Aziz's argument defending those who participated at the mammoth April 28 rally for electoral reforms in Kuala Lumpur as fulfilling the Islamic obligation to enjoin good and forbid evil.
Rahim, who resigned as the police chief in 1999, is best remembered for assaulting former deputy prime minister-turned-parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, when the latter was blindfolded hours after his dramatic arrest in September 1998.
Earlier, Kelantan PAS gave Rahim 24 hours to issue a public apology.
Kafir, the Arabic word for 'infidel', is a derogatory term used to describe those who reject God. A narrative attributed to Prophet Muhammad explicitly warns Muslims against labeling fellow Muslims as kafir, saying the label would return to the accuser.
Reiterating this principle, Tuan Ibrahim said PAS as an Islamic party had never labeled any individual askafir, other than pointing out actions which could lead to undermining a Muslim's creed.
Saying such extreme statements should not be allowed to flourish as part of the nation's culture, Tuan Ibrahim however reminded PAS members not to be distracted.
"PAS members should focus on the election as this is another game being played by the media to distract us in the run-up to the 13th general election," he added.