KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 – Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has declared Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) an illegal organisation, and its assets and properties will be seized, the Home Ministry said today. Its secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohamad Khalid Shariff said Zahid made the declaration yesterday, invoking Section 5(1) of the Societies Act 1966, which empowers the minister to declare an organisation illegal.
“The Penang PPS is an organisation that carries out activities that are hazardous to public peace in the country,” Khalid said in a statement today quoted by Bernama. The declaration means the use of the PPS name, symbol and logo is banned, and its accounts, assets, and properties wound up by the Malaysian Insolvency Department, said Bernama.
After announcing earlier that the group was not registered, police on August 31 arrested 156 PPS members as they took part in the state Merdeka Day celebration. Also picked up were DAP state assemblymen R.S.N. Rayer, PPS chairman Phee Boon Poh and his deputy, Tanjung MP Ng Wei Aik. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had vowed that his state government would defend the PPS members and would not bow to “bullying tactics” by Putrajaya.
Zahid (pic, right) had earlier said the group’s formation was not passed in Parliament, unlike the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) formed under the Volunteers Corps Act 2012, which means it need not be registered under the Registrar of Societies (RoS). Zahid and the police had also claimed that many PPS members were involved in crime with reports previously lodged against them. “It also seems like they want to take over the role of the police,” the Home Minister told Parliament on October 16.