Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Lawyer: Burger protest flouted DBKL by-laws

Contrary to what DIG Khalid Abu Bakar has said, a lawyer claims the protesters flouted the law.

PETALING JAYA: The protest by burger sellers outside Bersih co-chairman S Ambiga’s house last week had flouted two Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) by-laws.

According to lawyer K Shanmuga, the protesters violated the Licensing of Hawkers and Stalls (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) 1989 which was enacted under the Local Government Act.

He said the by-laws stipulated that hawkers are allowed to operate only at certain locations
“DBKL does not issue roving license. The business must operate at a fixed location,” he added, citing by-laws 11(1) and 22(2).

Bylaw 11(1) states that a stall licence should be in respect of a specified site whereas by-law 22(2) states that itinerant hawkers cannot remain stationary in any place except when selling food.

The by-laws are enforced by the DBKL and those found guilty can be fined RM1,000.

FMT had sent an email to DBKL regarding this matter, but had yet to receive a response.

Last Thursday, a group of burger stall operators from an NGO called Malaysia Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Ikhlas) set up their stalls in front of Ambiga’s home and distributed free burgers.

They claimed to have suffered losses amounting to RM200,000 due to the Bersih 3.0 rally led by Ambiga on April 28.

Following this, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that the burger stall operators did not commit an offence since they did not breach the Peaceful Assembly Act.

“What offence? If you want to sit in front of her house without disrupting other people, there is no offence. As
long as they don’t commit any offence such as trespassing on private property, we will not take action,” he had said.

Demos had Putrajaya’s okay

In anothe
r development Human rights watchdog Proham criticised the two protests held in front of Ambiga’s house as “an insensitive act [that] had unfortunately received the endorsement of some individuals in the federal administration.”

“What is more worrying is the insensitivity of selling beef burgers in front of an individual who is a vegetarian and a Hindu,” the NGO said in a statement.

It likened the demonstration to the notorious August 2009 incident in which a group of Muslims used the severed head of a cow to protest against the relocation of a Hindu temple in Shah Alam.

The statement carried the signatures of former Suhakam commissioners Simon Sipaun, Ramon Navaratnam, Hamdan Adnan and Denison Jayasooria.

The burger protest, carried out by a NGO called Malaysia Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Ikhlas), happened on Thursday.  Yesterday, retired soldiers followed suit when they assembled in front of Ambiga’s house and did mock physical exercises, bending so that their buttocks faced the house.

Proham said the two protests were “improper, inappropriate and in bad taste” and that they invaded the privacy of the Bersih leader.

Proham also took the police and local council to task, noting that policemen were present during the buttock show.

“The  authorities, including the local council and police, seemed to have turned a blind eye,  especially towards the  threat issued by army veterans,” the statement said.

“Proham also calls on both the police and local authorities to ensure that the perception of  apparent selective enforcement and justice is not created in the public mind. On the contrary, the authorities concerned should be careful to take proper action to enhance responsible policing and local government enforcement.”

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