Dang Wangi OCPD Kamal Basha bin Jamal Should Spend Time Doing His Duty  Chasing After Thieves And Criminals Instead Of Wasting Time Chasing DAP Leaders, Pro-|Local Government Democracy Balloons And Leaflets

Press Statement
Lim Guan Eng

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): DAP condemns the continued harassment by police for the second time during the launching of DAP’s “Restoration of Local Government Elections” campaign in the Bukit Bintang market. Even though no arrests were made, the Dang Wangi OCPD Kamal Basha bin Jamal made harsh threats of arrests. 

This is the second event organized by the DAP after the first event in Dataran Merdeka on 1st March 2005 was brutally broken up by police in a most high-handed and arbitrary manner where 6 DAP leaders and balloons were arrested. The 6 leaders arrested were DAP MP for Bukit Bintang Fong Kui Lun, Ngeh Koo Ham (State Assemblyman for Setiawan), Teh Hock Kee (DAP Perak State Organising Secretary), Low Wai Hong (Asst. to Bukit Bintang MP), Ning San (DAP Paramount Branch Chairman), Liew Chin Tong (DAP Hqrs Researcher) 

DAP had chosen to launch the distribution of the “Restore The 3rd Vote” leaflet in Bukit Bintang market to allow the people to show support and solidarity to Fong Kui Lun as MP for the area following his arrest. The response by the public to Fong, Chairman of the Restore Local Government Elections Committee and Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai as well as myself was excellent. What was not was the harsh attitude of OCPD Kamal. With his entourage of officers, Kamal did not offer any greeting except to rudely utter threats to arrest if we did not disperse. 

We responded that if we can be arrested for distributing leaflets, then he should go right ahead. Taken aback he then directed his attention to our leaflets asking whether we have violated the Printing Presses & Publications Act. When he discovered that we had not, he then asked whether we had a KDN permit. It is shocking that an OCPD is not familiar with the law as no KDN permit is required when a leaflet is not a periodical paper. What is more shocking is his willingness to threaten arrest on DAP MPs and leaders without determining whether an offence is committed. Such willingness to threaten arrest without any legal basis is an abuse of power and most irresponsible.

DAP unreservedly deplores OCPD Kamal for harassing and victimizing DAP leaders carrying out our legal political activities in a peaceful and orderly manner. There is no need for the OCPD to lead a large entourage of officers to the market to try to intimidate DAP leaders and MPs visiting their constituents. Kamal should remember that he is paid by the public to spend his time more usefully doing his public duty chasing after criminals and thieves instead of wasting his time chasing after DAP leaders, pro-democracy balloons and leaflets. 

DAP will not be cowed by such harassment and threats of arrests but will continue to press on with this pro-democracy campaign to restore local government elections. It is clear that the police led by Kamal has chosen to oppose our campaign for democracy by taking an unprovoked harsh stance against DAP efforts to restore our third vote to choose our local councilors. DAP leaders are prepared to be arrested to fight for the democratic rights of the people and will continue with our campaign where the next event will be held in Ipoh tomorrow Saturday and in Sitiawan on Sunday. If an Islamic country such as Saudi Arabia and a communist country such as China can have local government elections, there is no reason why Malaysia can not. 


* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General