MALAYSIA - PAS campaigners in the Sungai Limau by-election are in a bind after they were caught distributing flyers with a doctored photograph of reporters interviewing the late assemblyman Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak.
The face of one of the two reporters had been superimposed with that of the PAS candidate Mohd Azam Abd Samat in the flyers, which also had words praising his "vision and background".
Sinar Harian northern bureau chief Mohd Idros Mohd Ali said he was shocked when he saw the photograph, which showed Azam seated beside him during an interview with Azizan when he was still the Mentri Besar.
"I never went with Azam to interview Tok Jan (Azizan).
"We have the original photograph taken on May 25, 2011, showing I was then with deputy editor Muhamad Mat Yakim."
"The only logical explanation is that the photograph has been tampered and Muhamad's face replaced with that of Azam," he said.
Azam is in a straight fight with Barisan Nasional candidate Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim for the Sungai Limau state seat that was left vacant following Azizan's death last month.
In an immediate response, Sungai Limau PAS election director Datuk Ir Amiruddin Hamzah said party campaigners were not aware that the flyers had a superimposed photograph.
"The designers (of the flyer) selected the photographs from their own resources. We were not aware that it is not authentic. We have no intention of misleading the electorate.
"We will replace the flyers immediately," he told reporters here yesterday.
Amiruddin also said the party would also investigate the authenticity of the photographs, which showed both Azam and Azizan standing side by side and used on the party's banners, following doubts raised by certain people.
Meanwhile, Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said PAS leaders could not simply give the excuse that they were "not aware" of the doctored photograph, claiming that the flyers were distributed with the aim of fooling the electorate.
"As leaders, they should be aware," he said to newsmen after meeting Yan and Kuala Muda teachers at SMK Dulang here yesterday.