No Need For Gangsters To Take Care Of Penang, Says Zahid Hamidi

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 – Penang got another warning about its unregistered Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) from Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last night. “Ini Zahid Hamidi tahu? (This is Zahid Hamidi, you know?)” he said in his speech at the Bukit Bendera Umno division delegates’ conference in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, yesterday. He said there was no need for the unit or any other organisation to be set up in the state to “take over” the duties of the police. “We do not need samseng (gangsters) to take care of security… I will ask the CPO (state police chief) and OCPD (district police chiefs) to take care of security in the state.

“There is no need for PPS to take over the job. Police are the police. The authority and the law remain the responsibilities of police.” Zahid, who is also Umno vice-president, said security fell under the federal government, although the authorities also needed help from the public, non-governmental organisations and others. “But don’t be insolent by forming a security organisation without referring to the Home Ministry. Jangan kurang ajar (Don’t be rude).” Zahid said the federal government respected the powers of the state government.

He said police were also loyal to the government of the day, even in Penang, which is ruled by Pakatan Rakyat, as long as no laws were broken. “When laws are broken, the law does not know anyone, may it be a citizen, an assemblyman, an MP or even a chief minister. Action will be taken.” Zahid said he had the name list of all 10,000 PPS members and their details, as well as information that 11 had criminal records. “They will not get away… I will screen all the members to ensure those who are part of secret societies and with criminal records will not escape the law. “Sesiapa yang langgar undang-undang, langgar saya dulu (whoever who wants to break the law goes through me first),” he said.

Zahid said he also told the inspector-general of police (IGP), deputy IGP and the state police chief there would be no selective enforcement by the force. The police, he said, would be professional in carrying out their duties. Yesterday, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said state Pakatan Rakyat leaders would stand in front of their PPS members if they were to be arrested. He also challenged Putrajaya to take the dispute over the legality of the unit to court, instead of detaining the members. On PAS’ volunteer corps Unit Amal, Zahid said the police would act if the organisation broke the law.

Earlier, Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail also hit out against the PPS, calling the unit a “modern urban communist”. He urged the authorities to check which of the PPS members held licences to night club and owned gambling machines and firearms. Ahmad said Zahid and the police had the division’s backing in acting against those who challenged the law. He also asked Putrajaya to resurrect the Internal Security Act and keep the Sedition Act in order to control and maintain peace in the country. Ahmad also hit out at the DAP-led Penang government, citing “difficulties” living under the party’s rule, and accused it of making use of a few Malays as tools. He said there were attempts to disunite the Malays and called on both Umno and PAS to cooperate for the sake of race and religion.

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