Guan Eng: Fight critics fairly in civil courts

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GEORGE TOWN: Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar should clear his name and fight his critics fairly by relying on defamation laws instead of abusing criminal laws, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said.

“Using criminal laws against his detractors, when Khalid has full resources at his disposal as the IGP, would place his critics in an unfair and unequal position,” Lim said in a statement yesterday.

“Will Khalid fight fair by resorting to civil courts of defamation against those whom he alleges have defamed him?” he asked.

Khalid has come under fire, especially over the social media, on his directive to the Penang police to arrest the state’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) members after pronouncing the organisation illegal.

He issued warnings over Twitter that action will be taken against those who had hurled “abuse” at him over the issue.

A total of 157 members, including state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh and Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer, were arrested on Sunday after a PPS contingent finished marching in the official state-level Merdeka Day parade in George Town.

The Penang government has maintained that PPS is legal and legitimate as it was formed under the state.

Rayer was released on police bail at 4am yesterday morning after being detained at the George Town district police headquarters since 3pm on Monday when he was giving his statement.

Ayer Itam assemblyman Wong Hon Wai said there were no untoward incidents during the detention of the PPS members, and that those released have gone back to their normal lives with their families.

Wong said members were treated professionally by Penang police, notwithstanding the lengthy hours of questioning.

Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi told reporters yesterday morning that investigations into the alleged illegality of the PPS are expected to be wrapped up by tomorrow evening.

The investigation papers would then be passed to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action, he said.

The PPS leaders and members are being investigated under Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966 for participating in an illegal organisation. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 3, 2014.