Current Affairs

Police should unconditionally release all 156 PPS members

By Ng Wei Aik, MP for Tanjong and DAP Socialist Youth Penang Chief

Ng-Wei-AikDAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) Penang strongly condemn the police for abusing their power in over-acting as the Registrar of Societies by declaring the Voluntary Patrol Team (PPS) as an illegal body, without letting the ROS to determine whether such a body established by the Penang State Government should properly register with the ROS.

The whole action was initiated by the police, even the Inspector-General of Police was personally involved in giving instructions as well as excuses to justify the police’s latest crackdown on PPS. All these lame excuses given by the police are not convincing. The police should not have acted in all capacities including as the complainant, the investigator, the arrestor and even as the prosecutor against PPS.

The existence of PPS is not something new. The PPS was able to obtain the full cooperation of the police all this while. In fact, the existence of PPS is complimentary to police efforts, in maintaining the peace and harmony for 1.5 million Penangites.

Even though there are some complaints or police reports lodged against certain disciplinary cases involving a small number of PPS members, the police should not over-react against the PPS, even to mobilise a huge force of police personnel to arrest 154 PPS members immediately after their national day parade, including another PPS member and Y.B. Phee Boon Poh who is the PPS Chairman after that.

The whole episode began with the police asking the ROS to determine whether the PPS is a registered society with the ROS. Definitely, the feedback given by the ROS is negative, based on the facts that the PPS is not registered with ROS. However, the question over whether there is a need for PPS to register with ROS has not been addressed.

Such a question is very relevant, with the PPS deemed as a government agency set up and put under the Penang State Government while certain quarters including the police perceived it as an illegal body. It is undoubtedly a grey area whereby the police should not just rely on the ROS feedback to act.

Definitely, the PPS is not an enforcement body with its objectives are to assist those in need, especially when there are incidents of criminal nature. The PPS is a recognized agency under the Penang State Government by virtue of its participation in the Penang State Merdeka Parade yesterday, even in the years before.

The police should leave it to the ROS to determine whether the PPS should register with the ROS. There are certain procedures and mechanisms under the Societies Act 1966, before action can be taken against an illegal body gazetted by the ROS. The Penang State Government should be allowed to state its case with the ROS over the status of PPS as well.

For the time being, we strongly call on the police to unconditionally release all 156 PPS members detained right after the Penang State-level Merdeka Parade yesterdaty.

The whole crackdown on PPS is politically-motivated, to ensure the whole PPS can be disbanded and all elected representatives who are the caretakers of the PPS in their respective constituencies can be put in the jail who will eventually lose their qualifications as the elected representatives.

I would like to remind BN leaders, especially the Prime Minister Najib Razak and the Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi; don’t ever dream to recapture Penang by creating  a state by-elections in Penang after convicting all elected representatives who are closely associating with the PPS.

The police high-handed approaches in cracking down the PPS has undoubtedly warranted all Penangites to teach BN another big lesson in the event any seats fell vacant following the conviction of elected representatives in their relations to the PPS, or even in the coming General Elections.

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