SHAH ALAM, 16 JAN: Selangor Exco, Teresa Kok will be writing a letter to the Selangor Police Chief to convey dissatisfaction regarding the terms and restrictions issued by the Serdang District Police Chief for political talks at Puchong Jaya Field which are deemed unreasonable.
According to Teresa who is also the Kinrara Assemblywoman, originally the talk was to be held on 8 January at the same place but the police rejected the application on grounds that the notification period of the Legislative Assembly to the police was only eight days while under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the police must be informed 10 days in advance of the programme date.
However, after the organisers postponed the date to 17 January, the police printed 1,500 copies of notice to residents around the ‘ceramah’ (talk) site encouraging the public to object to it.
On 14 January, the Serdang District Police Chief, ACP Abd Razak Elias issued a list of 25 ‘conditions to organisers’ which invited discontent among the organisers
Among the conditions contained in the letter were most unreasonable namely; the PAS Unit Amal was not allowed to control vehicle traffic because this will and can evoke feelings of provocation from the public who are not involved in the rally.
The organisers stated that the expectations of participants was approximately 500 in the form below the fourth table (section 10) Notification under Subsection 9 (1) Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (Act 736), if the attendance of the participants exceed expectations and is outside the permitted areas, the Chief District Police has the power to disperse the assembly under Section 21(1)(a) Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (Act 736).
Organisers have to ensure that participants or attendees do not drink alcohol or take drugs while attending this ‘ceramah’ to avoid aggressive behaviour under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“Political talks are at the empty area at the sides of roads and in front of restaurants, if the PAS Unit Amal is not allowed to direct traffic, it is likely to cause traffic congestion at the venue.
“For the conditions of turnout, we cannot ascertain the total number of participants who will attend the talks will be below 500 people. For the police to disperse the participants should the attendance exceed expectations is unreasonable.
“Meanwhile the talk site is held in front of a restaurant where its customers also eat and drink outside the restaurant.We certainly cannot prevent the customers of the restaurant from drinking at the site outside the restaurant.Therefore, the terms are difficult to fulfil,” she said in a press conference.
She stressed that the objective of the Peaceful Assembly Act is to facilitate organisers in holding programmes and not to be used by the police to prevent gatherings and programmes.