Thursday 20 September 2012

Punish Perkasa for picture-stomping too, Penang tells A-G

September 20, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 —  The Penang government has made a formal request to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail for fair punishment against Perkasa members and others who had desecrated photographs of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng during several recent protests in the state.

In a letter issued last Friday by Penang Deputy Chief Minister (1) Datuk Mansor Othman to the top lawyer, Abdul Gani was told to respect the country's legal system without playing double standards or taking sides.

"To do this, Tan Sri should take stern action against Perkasa. It is also hoped that the element of bias will not be practised here in that only one party gets his appropriate defence," Mansor (picture) wrote.

The letter was written in response to a September 8 report in English daily The Star quoting Penang CID chief Senior Asst Comm Mazlan Kesah as saying that there was insufficient evidence to charge any individual for their involvement in several protests where photographs and effigies of Lim were torched and stomped on.

According to the daily's report, Mazlan had said the police had probed two such cases - one on November 30, 2009, near the state assembly building, and another on February 5, 2010 at the entrance of Komtar.

The CID chief also said the police had investigated another incident where protesters organised a mock funeral using Hindu customs outside Lim's house in Penang.

Mansor said Mazlan's reasons were "difficult to accept" as he claimed that there had been numerous witnesses, photographs and admissions made by those who participated in the events.

He claimed of "double standards", pointing out that in the recent case where photographs of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife and the Election Commission (EC) were similarly destroyed during the eve of Merdeka, the police had been quick to launch probes and arrest perpetrators.

"The same incidents have occurred to Lim, even leading to one where his life was threatened and the public peace and safety of Penangites were threatened.

"Unfortunately, the stern action taken upon those who stomped on the Prime Minister's photographs were not repeated against the members of Perkasa who were respensible for these rude acts against Lim," said Mansor.

Many opposition politicians have railed against the authorities for acting so speedily to reprimand the youths for Merdeka eve incident when they had failed to do the same against pro-Umno, pro-BN and Perkasa activists who had in the past committed the same offences.

The Malay right wing group Perkasa had in May this year organised a mock funeral for Lim in front of the latter's house, earning the disdain of even politicians in Barisan Nasional (BN).

The group's leaders, as well as other pro-Umno activists have also held numerous protests where the photographs of prominent Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders and civil society activists like Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan were trampled on or even torched.

Shortly after the Bersih 3.0 rally in the city, a group of army veterans had also performed butt exercises outside Ambiga's home.

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