Feb 13, 2009 By CLARA CHOOI
IPOH: Perak police will soon haul up political leaders from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to record their statements on the slew of political gatherings in the state.
In issuing a stern warning that a “no-compromise” approach would be adopted in the matter, Perak CPO Deputy Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said:
“ ‘Yes’ means yes and ‘No’ means no, so if an application to hold a gathering is rejected, the decision is final.
“Our main concern here is to maintain public peace and order; there is no compromising that.”
He said that since Perak was struck by a series of political crises, the police had received a total of 70 reports, 41 of which were on alleged rioting.
“We have already opened 17 investigation papers on all these reports -- two on riots, seven on illegal gatherings and eight on other related matters,” he told a press conference Friday.
DCP Zulkifli said his men were already in the process of identifying those who had been giving ceramah (political addresses) touching on sensitive matters.
“We also plan to question those who attended these gatherings from both sides, whether Pakatan or Barisan.
“After all, we do not want this to continue unabated. We are about to face a by-election and we want law-abiding Perakians to be able to continue with their lives peacefully,” he said.
DCP Zulkifli said that to hold a gathering, a registered organisation or a group of at least three individuals need to seek approval from the district police chief.
The OCPD then has to consider road safety and public peace before approving or rejecting such an application.
“However, if the application is rejected, the applicant can still appeal to me to reconsider, provided I am given at least 48 hours to make my decision,” he said.
He said that ceramah speakers were not allowed to broach topics that may anger the Sultan of Perak or cause further political unrest.
In a gathering at Jelapang here Friday, thousands of people turned up to show their unhappiness with their now independent elected representative Hee Yit Foong, who was voted in on a DAP ticket.
As speakers like former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and former executive council members Nga Kor Ming and Chen Fook Chye spoke of Hee, shouts of anger could be heard from the audience.