A Shia leader from Kedah has disputed the Home Ministry's claim that the PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu is a follower of the Muslim denomination.
Abdullah Hassan said based on his observation of Mohamad, or Mat Sabu, over the past five years, he did not think the veteran PAS leader is a Shia Muslim.
"I don't know whether he (Mat Sabu) is a Shia believer or not. In my observations, I don't see him as one," Abdullah told Malay daily Sinar Harian.
He aslo said he had no knowledge of Mat Sabu's involvement in Shia activities as claimed by Putrajaya.
Abdullah, however, stressed that although Mat Sabu admired the leadership of the late Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, it did not mean he was a Shia.
"The similarity between Mat Sabu and me is that we are both admirers of Imam Khomeini but from a different perspective.
"Shia agrees with Khomeini when it came to the denomination while Mat Sabu might be looking at his leadership skills which brought about the Iranian revolution. But that is his personal right to admire any leader," he added.
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi recently accused Mat Sabu of being a Shia, and questioned PAS members who retained him in as the Islamic party's number two.
To back Zahid's claim, Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi organised a press conference, and revealed 10 "evidences" linking the PAS leader to Shia activities, which included an article by Mat Sabu in PAS organ Harakah, in which he expressed admiration for Khomeini.
Mat Sabu responded by saying that while he admired Khomeini's leadership, it did not mean he was a Shia follower.
He has threatened to sue Ahmad Zahid and the ministry over the claims. - December 14, 2013.