MUAR – The detention of members of the Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) in Penang recently was according to legal procedures and not on the instruction of the government, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said the action taken by the police was not done arbitrarily but based on concrete evidence.
“We did not issue any instruction but the police have the power to act. Under whatever circumstances, if it is perceived from the security aspect (and) the threat that can arise, if it is not handled, to the extent that ugly incidents can crop up, (then) the public will accuse the police of not taking any action,” he told reporters after opening the delegates meeting of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings of the Pagoh Umno division at the Pagoh Sports Complex, near here Friday.
He said that as the head of the state government, the Penang Chief Minister (Lim Guan Eng) should respect the action taken and cooperate with the police although the PPS was sponsored by the state government.
Muhyiddin said this when commenting on the action taken by Lim in defending the PPS which was a body that was not registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
The police recently detained 154 members of the PPS after Lim was reported to have challenged the Inspector-General of Police to take action on the members.
They were also said to have caused uneasiness among members of the community as they were alleged to have acted like gangsters.
Meanwhile in GEORGE TOWN, the Penang chief minister said he was leaving it to the court to decide on the status of the PPS which was set up with the approval of the state government through a meeting of the Executive Council on April 8, 2009.
Lim also insisted that the PPS was a valid organisation although it was not registered with the ROS or the Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK).
“We accept whatever is the decision of the court. If it is still disputed, then refer the matter to court, don’t make large-scale arrests as though wanting to show power. Don’t think that by showing power it will force the state government to relent…we have the courage not because we are strong, we know we are weak but we have the courage because we are correct.
“We are all prepared to face whatever action, even the chief minister. I will personally stand in the front line. The past two or three days the police station is like my second home. Come…go…come…go, on the first day up to 12 hours,” Lim said.
He said this to reporters at a media conference after handing out incentives to the Penang athletes who had won medals at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23 to Aug 3.
On Aug 31, police detained 156 PPS members including State Executive Councilor Phee Boon Poh to assist investigation under Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966.
Subsequently, Lim had said on Monday that the Exco meeting had agreed to postpone all activities of the PPS until the court had decided on its validity.
Meanwhile, at the ceremony to hand out the incentives the Penang athletes today, the state government allocated a total of RM140,000 to six of the 16 Penang athletes who had won medals at the Commonwealth Games.
The six athletes were Datuk Nicol Ann David (squash), who received RM40,000, aquatic diver Ooi Tze Liang (RM60,000), weightlifter Zulhelmi Md Pisol (RM20,000), lawn bowler Azalina Arshad (RM5,000) and badminton doubles pair Chan Peng Soon and Tee Jing Yee who received RM7,500 each. – BERNAMA