CM threatens to throw the book at state Barisan men

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has threatened to use the illegal gathering laws on state Barisan Nasional leaders for their alleged illegal ceramah at the Esplanade grounds.

“If they do it (illegal gathering) again, we’ll inform the police and MPPP to take action.”

Accusing Barisan of resorting to an illegal gathering after a war of words had broken out between Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan supporters at the venue near the Speaker’s Square, Lim claimed the entire event was in the first place, illegal.

State Barisan Youth leaders went to the Esplanade last Sunday in a truck, best described as an election campaign heavy vehicle, equipped with microphone, loud speakers and an LCD projector to create an illegal ceramah ambience, Lim said.

The truck, which was parked on the road between Town Hall and City Hall, was about 100m away from the Square.

He stressed that anyone who wishes to use a sound system at the Esplanade, must get a permit from the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP).

He said this after visiting Haroon Abidin, 66, at the Penang Hospital.

The senior citizen was warded due to a suspected heart problem after he was allegedly involved in a verbal clash with Barisan supporters.

The war of words almost led to a fracas due to the close proximity of each other’s events before both sides cooled down and dispersed.

Earlier, Lim told a separate press conference that Penang Barisan should not point fingers at him, as they had also sold land in the state at cheap prices.

State Barisan Youth chief Oh Tong Keong who also spoke at the ceramah on Sunday, said their event was held on the roadside and their truck was not blocking the road.

“We had informed the police about our ceramah. There was no need to get permission from the council as we were not using a microphone. It was just a talk,” he said

Oh said he was amused that Lim was accusing Barisan of illegal gathering, as this was coming from a leader who advocated freedom of assembly and speech.

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