While MAFREL is compiling election offences across the board the Police are receiving another type of complaints: 60% (or 6 out of 10) of complaints are procedural ie of party who did not apply for permits for gathering. Insisting on such permits during elections has been argued to make a mockery of the `freedom’ of assembly during such occasions. The others relates to violence -which should be dealt with ASAP-since there are photos showing faces etc. Failing to do this will hint at interested delays by the police. MAFREL hope that in the interests of free and fair elections the Police should perform to deal with all the relevant complaints -and not be too preoccupied over procedural matters-which gives wrong impressions that the Police is not to provide security but to order people around. The election is after all the show of the people and the candidates-not the security apparatus. To deal with `illegal’ gatherings is the item that `needs’ a lot of human power but to investigate violence does not. So the call to increase police presence reflect exactly the preoccupation and priority of the police as part of the election administrators!
Tuesday August 19, 2008(Star)
More cops to be deployed
KUALA LUMPUR: More police personnel will be sent to the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said.
This was to ensure law and order during the campaign period right up to polling day on Aug 26, he told a briefing here which was also attended by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
There are some 3,000 police personnel in the area at present.
The decision to increase police presence follows reports of unruly party supporters during nomination last Saturday. Two photographers were attacked by mobs dressed in PKR T-shirts.
National Union of Journalists (NUJ) president Norila Mohd Daud has asked the police to find the culprits and bring them to book.
Ismail said 15 police reports had been lodged, and police were investigating 10, Bernama reported.
Six were against PKR for holding assemblies without permits while the others pertained to wrongful restraint, causing hurt and criminal intimidation.
It is also learnt that several Barisan Nasional leaders were hampered by unruly mobs while on their journey to the nomination centre in Permatang Pauh last Saturday.
Syed Hamid said all parties must abide by the law, and not take the law into their own hands.
In Bukit Mertajam, M. SIVANANTHA SHARMA reports that Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaacob warned PKR to apply for permits to hold ceramah or face the music.
Only Barisan Nasional had applied for permits to hold ceramah since nomination day, he said.
“So far, PKR has not applied for permits for their ceramah. I am issuing them a final warning,” DCP Ayub told a press conference at the Central Seberang Prai district police headquarters.
“The application form is available at all police stations. Approval is only given by the OCPD, and permits will be approved within 24 hours,” he added.
DCP Ayub warned that offenders were liable to a fine of not less than RM2,000 and not more than RM10,000, as well as up to a year’s jail.
“Action can also be taken under Section 141 of the Penal Code for unlawful assembly if five or more gather at one place,” he said.