KUALA LUMPUR – The Penang DAP government insists on defending the Voluntary Patrol Team (PPS) because it may have an interest in the existence of the PPS which is reported to have more than 9,000 members, according to a social analyst today.
A former lecturer from a public institution of higher learning (IPTA) Dr Ibrahim Ghaffar said the PPS had been confirmed by police to be an organisation that was not registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and had thus contravened Section 41 of the Societies Act.
“Based on the provisions of the law, police have the right to get to the bottom of the matter and investigate it. There is no need to respond to the challenge from the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and to debate on the issue, which is an exercise in futility,” he told Bernama today.
Last Sunday, police detained several members of the PPS, including the chairman of the team, Phee Boon Poh who is also the State Executive Councillor for Welfare, Caring Society and Environment, for ignoring the warning against carrying out any activity after the PPS was found to be not registered with the ROS.
A total of 157 members of the PPS, however, were released in stages yesterday after police had recorded their statements.
The investigation papers on the detention of the 157 members of the Penang PPS, including Phee, would be sent to the Head of the Prosecution Unit for further action, according to the Penang police.
CM NEED NOT OVER REACT AND CHALLENGE THE POLICE
Ibrahim said the Penang Chief Minister should not be upset to the extent of challenging the police, and should instead cooperate closely with the police which only acted according to the provisions of the law.
“It’s unfortunate if the PPS crisis deteriorates whereas the solution is simple, that is to dissolve it if it contravenes the law or learn from the police how to set it up legally,” he said.
He said there were several concerns raised by the people regarding the PPS because members of the team were not carefully screened before their recruitment, especially in terms of their capability to understand the law.
“Certainly there will be concern among the people who are exposed to the activities of the PPS members, especially those with criminal record who might act excessively because of their obvious lack of understanding on the provisions of the law,” he said.
NATION WAS PREVIOUSLY SHAKEN BY PKPM
Ibrahim said the nation had previously been shaken by an organisation that called themselves as the Federation of Malaysia Special Forces (PKPM), whose members wore uniforms similar to those used by the police with ranks that could confuse the people.
“The PKPM’s idealism also aimed to purportedly assist the security authorities to enforce the law but the organisation had been banned as there was no necessity for any organisation to usurp the powers of the police,” he said.
What is the logic for Penang or any other state to set up any team or other entity whereas the police as the law enforcers were already functioning well all this while?
“That is why I say there is a hidden agenda behind it. Why doesn’t the state government use the services of RELA if it is merely to control traffic during major events? The JKKK (Village Security and Development Committee) already exists to act as the eyes and ears of the government to detect any security threat,” he added.
THERE ARE REASONS FOR PUBLIC CONCERN
He said the people became more worried when the issue on the existence of the PPS was played in the blogs and social media to the extent of drawing various comments including those with racial undertones and the possibility that the PPS would eventually be supplied with tools that could endanger the public.
“A baton which is used wrongly is sufficient to cause injury to the public, especially so if it is made available to those groups who are obsessed with power,” he said.
Even without any arms being supplied there have been many reports in the media how members of a similar team that was set up by a political party had acted aggressively against members of the public on the pretext of maintaining security during party events.
“In order to avoid such incidents, I, as a member of the public, fully support the action of the police on the PPS, which I believe will be followed by similar action on other (illegal) teams,…members of the public are thankful to the police for being pro-active,” Ibrahim said. – Bernama