Police probing alleged trespass, not doctors’ protest

PETALING JAYA: The police are investigating the claim of trespass by media practitioners at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) quarantine centre, says Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Arjunaidi Mohamed.

He said no investigation was being conducted into the Hartal Doktor Kontrak protest which took place there on Monday.

“We are investigating the trespassing by six members of the media into the yellow zone of the quarantine area.

“We are not investigating the doctors for carrying placards and voicing out their concerns,” he said at a virtual press conference yesterday.

Comm Arjunaidi said the media personnel who had trespassed could have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus as the areas they were in were near the quarantine zones for category four and five patients.

“They have endangered themselves and other people. They could have spread the virus to others outside, we don’t know.

“We have identified the reporters and the news agencies involved. They will be called in for their statements to be recorded soon,” he said, adding that the police treated the matter seriously.

Comm Arjunaidi said the MAEPS quarantine area was a restricted area and that even a state police chief such as himself would require permission before stepping inside.

“We can’t just let the media enter and ‘kill themselves’ inside. We know the place is dangerous.

“We cannot let people in, and it is our responsibility to protect the safety of the people,” he said, adding that the police were not curtailing the freedom to report, but they had a responsibility to protect lives.

Asked if the newsmen had permission to enter the area, Comm Arjunaidi said none was granted by MAEPS.

On the claim by lawyer Asheeq Ali that 12 doctors who participated in the protest had their statements recorded until the early hours of the morning, he said: “The doctors that we recorded statements from were working from 8pm to 8am.

“We took their statements when they were on shift, with the permission of the MAEPS management. Some parties have spun this fact.

“We did this as a courtesy; if we asked them to have their statements recorded during normal working hours, they would have been very tired from working until 8am.”

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