GEORGE TOWN: Police detained 154 Penang Voluntary Patrol (PPS) personnel for refusing to stop their activities after it was found to be an illegal organisation.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said all PPS personnel, including seven women, were held at 10.15am in Padang Kota here Sunday to assist investigations under Section 41 of the Societies Act for not registering with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
"Police started taking action against PPS personnel after they were adamant in carrying out their activities despite my prior warning that it is an illegal organisation that has been banned and all activities should cease immediately.
"They insisted on carrying their activities and deliberately wanted to challenge the country's law and dared police to take action...they acted like gangsters," he said when contacted by Bernama.
On Tuesday, Khalid had issued a statement that PPS was considered an illegal organisation which violated Section 41 of the Societies Act for not being registered.
Khalid said PPS should suspend all activities and write to ROS to seek clarification via the legal channel.
He said police have acted according to the law and would investigate and refer the case to the Attorney-General's office for further action.
"They will not be allowed to meet anybody including lawyers as police are conducting investigations and PPS lawyers who were unhappy at not being allowed to meet detained PPS personnel, I am telling them to refer to their law books.
"If police could not settle their investigations in 24 hours, maybe we will seek a remand order from the court tomorrow morning to complete investigations and under remand, lawyers could meet their clients," he said.
In another development, a group of lawyers comprising Ramkarpal Singh, R.S.N Rayer, Cheah Ka Peng and Soon Lip Chee said they were prepared to represent all those arrested.
"We have 10 lawyers to assist them (PPS personnel), we are sad over the incident today," said Rayer.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's scheduled meeting with Seberang Perai PPS personnel at Seberang Perai Municipal Council auditorium has been postponed.
In addition, the state government had also postponed all PPS activities for while obtaining feedback from the state legal advisor. - Bernama