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Three PR reps, photographer arrested in Perak (Updated 7.15pm)

Updated at 7.15pm on 2 Sept 2009

IPOH, 2 Sept 2009: Police today arrested three elected representatives from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for allegedly breaching a court order that prohibited any assembly within 30 metres of the Perak Darul Ridzuan building.

Police also arrested three other individuals. Malaysiakini reported that Stanley Tan, a Nanyang Siang Pau photographer, who was said to have been kicked in the process, was also arrested.

The three PR elected reps who were arrested were Perak DAP chief and Beruas Member of Parliament (MP) Ngeh Koo Ham, Malim Nawar assemblyperson Keshvinder Singh (DAP) and Simpang Pulai assemblyperson Chan Ming Kai (PKR).

Police had obtained a court order under Section 98 of the Criminal Procedure Code to stop the public from gathering within 30 metres of the Perak state secretariat building compound on Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab in Ipoh from 1am today until 11pm tomorrow.

The court order was obtained following a call by former Perak Speaker V Sivakumar, who is also Tronoh assemblyperson, for a Perak state legislative meeting today.

Perak police chief Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah yesterday issued a warning that police would take stern action in accordance with the law if an illegal assembly was convened in the area.

Tension started mounting when embattled Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Sivakumar and 25 other elected representatives from the PR started marching from the Perak DAP headquarters in Medan Istana towards the Perak Darul Ridzuan building.

About 200 metres from the building’s fence, they were stopped by police and a heated argument followed when Nizar and the rest argued that the court order did not apply to them.

However, when the situation became tense with the arrival of a group of men who shouted “Daulat Tuanku!”, Ipoh police chief ACP Azisman Alias ordered everyone to disperse.

At about 10.30am, Nizar and the PR reps who returned to the DAP headquarters, announced that the assembly would go on at the Heritage Hotel at 11.30am.

According to Nizar, who is also Pasir Panjang state assemblyperson and Bukit Gantang MP, the assembly must be held within six months of the previous assembly that was held on 3 March.

He added that the assembly was necessary to table a number of issues for debate and approval.

Nizar also accused the police of detaining the three elected reps without any valid reasons.

“We tried to hold an assembly but unfortunately the police say they have a court order to stop such an assembly. Though we received the court order, it was only for supporters but we are elected representatives who want to carry out our duties,” he said.

At 9am this morning, 27 out of the 28 PR reps turned up at the DAP headquarters, except for Khalil Idham Lim (Titi Serong) who was performing his umrah.

Perak chief police officer (CPO) Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah, when contacted, said the three politicians, three civilians, and the Nanyang photographer who were detained had been freed on police bail.

They were released between 12.45pm and 3pm after police recorded their statements, he said, adding that Keshvinder was sent to the Tuanku Bainun

Hospital for outpatient treatment for some light injuries he sustained in the incident.

The photographer, he said, had used criminal force in preventing public authorities from carrying out their duties in bringing about public order during the incident. — Bernama


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