Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vandals hit Perak’s Democracy Tree - again - Star

March 14, 2009 By CLARA CHOOI

IPOH: Vandals hit the plaque under Perak’s Democracy Tree for the second time early Saturday morning by splashing a black liquid over the broken black marble slab that marked the historic State Assembly sitting under its boughs on Mar 3.

Former executive councillor Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Pantai Remis) said it had yet to be determined if it was black paint or a corrosive liquid.

However, there were video footages of the vandals targetting the plaque - both times, he said.

“We will make a police report, most likely on Monday,” he told reporters.

The black liquid has blotted out most of the words describing the purpose of the plaque that was inscribed on the slab.

The vandal had also broken off more of the plaque, leaving most of its edges in pieces on the ground.

However, Nga revealed Saturday that when the plaque was erected last Sunday, Pakatan Rakyat had already anticipated such a thing would happen and had the foresight to install a CCTV camera facing the tree.

Nga, who salso Perak DAP secretary, said the camera had captured the man who had first broken parts of the marble plaque in the wee hours of Friday morning.

"According to the image we captured, a car arrived and parked near the tree at about 1.30am.

"Then the driver switched off the car lights, got down from the vehicle and used something that looked like a hammer to smash the plaque," he said.

On Saturday’s incident with the black liquid, Nga said he had yet to check the latest footage captured on the CCTV.

He said that the DAP Socialist Youth would lodge a police report on both the incidents on Monday.

Nga also said that the Pakatan planned to take better preventive measures to protect the remaining plaque and the tree.

"We will install a better camera so that the images are clearer and if feasible, we may also install a spotlight there," he said.

Meanwhile, Nga said that Pakatan would ignore the notice pasted on its 'Democracy Tree' by the Ipoh City Council on Friday evening.

The notice ordered the owner of the plaque to remove the structure within 24 hours or risk having the council destroy it.

The notice claimed that owner of the structure had contravened Section 46(1)(a) of the Road, Drainage and Building Act, which disallowed the construction of such a monument without prior permission for it caused an obstruction in a public area.

"However, they did not serve me or any of the Pakatan parties this notice. Weirdly enough, they served it to the tree, as if the tree was the owner of the plaque.

"Since they did that, it is like they are asking the tree to destroy the plaque. We will ignore this," he said.

On the construction of a new plaque, Nga said that the DAP had already raised more than RM1,000.

"Those who are willing to donate to us can make out their cheques to DAP Perak, write 'Tabung Pembinaan Monumen Demokrasi' behind it and bank it into the Public Bank account 311-044-1003," he said.

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