ALOR SETAR: A protest staged by a group of pet owners here against the Alor Setar City Council (MBAS) turned rowdy when some of them ended up assaulting a man who was said to be heckling them.
The group had gathered in front of the MBAS building in Jalan Kolam Air here, demanding that the new permits for dogs – imposed by the council from Jan 1 – be abolished.
The pet owners had complained that the permits were an extra burden to them and some owners had been issued with summonses for not having the new permits.
The commotion began at 2.15pm yesterday when the unidentified man in his 20s confronted the group and heckled them.
The war of words went on for a few minutes before some 20 protesters rushed forward and assaulted the man, who fled after suffering bruises in his face.
Kedah Action Force Association chairman Thana Chew Ne Meng, who acted as spokesman for the protesters, said the owners were unhappy with the new permits.
“Under the new rule, we have to pay an extra RM26 to obtain the permits from MBAS. On top of that, we must also pay RM20 annually for the Veterinary Services Department licences,” he said.
The group, however, managed to hand over a memorandum to an MBAS representative. They dispersed after the police arrived.
Mayor Datuk Mat Noh Ahmad could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Kedah Gerakan Youth head Tan Keng Liang blamed the council for not addressing the issue effectively after the complaints were made.
He said that MBAS had chosen to ignore the issue, forcing the owners to organise a public protest.
Tan claimed that the decision to collect licensing fees from the dog owners was made because the state government had incurred financial losses of around RM3bil.