Thursday, 12 February 2009

IGP: State police to decide ban on political ceramah - Malaysiakini

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said it is up to the respective state police to decide on whether a ban should be imposed on political ceramah following the political turmoil in Perak. –Malaysiakini reports.

He said the issuance of permits for the gatherings should be referred to the state police chiefs as they are responsible for the safety of their states, when contacted byMalaysiakini.

Perak has been enveloped in a political turmoil after Barisan Nasional seized control of the state last week.

Musa was responding to a PKR leader's allegation that the police have banned political rallies nationwide following the Perak turmoil.

PKR supreme council member Badrul Hisham Shaharin has accused the police of cancelling a ceramah permit in Bayan Baru, Penang on Sunday in view of the situation in Perak.

The ceramah was supposed to take place at a field near Sungai Nibong Tengah but after the permit was cancelled, the venue was shifted to nearby house belonging to a Pakatan Rakyat supporter.

The police's directive to clamp down on rallies comes at a time when Pakatan Rakyat is engaged in a series of daily roadshows throughout the state to explain their position to the masses.

The menteri besar's residence is also a regular hive for ceramah attended by thousands.

In an immediate reaction, Perak PAS deputy commissioner Asmuni Awi told Malaysiakini that a ban on ceramah would be unfair.

"The authorities should give us an opportunity to defend ourselves in form of a ceramah as certain media organisations are slandering us," he saaid.

"A ban won't do any good for the state of Perak but it will cause
more dissatisfaction and cause the situation to deteriorate," he added.

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