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DAPSY urges Perlis State Executive Councilor from MCA, Loh Yoon Foo to oppose the proposed curfew on teenagers in the coming State Exco Meeting on Wednesday


Press Statement
by Loke Siew Fook

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday):  The proposal by Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to impose a curfew from 10 pm to 6 am daily on youth aged 18 and below as a step to address social ills is a gross violation of the personal rights and freedoms enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Although social ills involving youth must be tackled but it should not be by way of a curfew to restrict the movement of teenagers at night.  

The proposal by the Perlis State Government is most ridiculous as it suggests that social ills only involved youth below 18 years old and once a teenager reaches the age of 18, they are free to do anything. This will even give a wrong impression to the youth.

 

The Perlis State Government must realize that personal freedom cannot be restricted by force and social ills will not be eradicated overnight by just imposing a curfew at night as the teenagers who have discipline problems can still involve in unhealthy activities even at the daytime.

 

The right thing for the Perlis State Government to do is to consult with sociologists, counselors, social activist and NGOs to identify the root causes of the social ills and find better ways to solve the problem.

 

Furthermore, the Perlis State Government must realize that they have no legislative authority to do so as any attempt to restrict personal movement is against the Federal Constitution. The Perlis Government should heed the contention of the Minister in the Prime Ministerís Department, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim.

 

MCA leaders who were very critical of PAS state governments whenever any controversial rulings proposed in Kelantan and Terengganu should be equally critical in this issue. MCA sole State Executive Counselor in Perlis, Loh Yoon Foo must be bold enough to oppose the ruling in the coming weekly State Exco meeting tomorrow.

 

(14/1/2003)


* Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary