I visited the Police HQ in Bukit Mertajam today with my ‘mainstream’ reporter friends. Looks like the police force has joined the battle for Permatang Pauh. Whose side are they on? You can definitely tell, in the coming days.
Their press conference was about two things: police permit for ceramahs (political talks) and the violence against photographers allegedly by PAKATAN RAKYAT supporters.
It goes like this:
Police will be taking action on the parties that do not apply for permits for ceramahs in Permatang Pauh.
SUPT Shaharon Anuar Abdul Latif, who is media relations officer for the Seberang Perai Tengah Police HQ said that out of 8 ceramahs during the P44 campaign period, only 5 were legal, and all of them were BN ceramahs.
PKR has yet to apply, let alone have permits for their ceramahs, and the police will be investigating the matter under section 27 of the Police Act for illegal gathering.
The police seem very involved in this campaign, with the media relations department, organising briefing every day at 11.30am at the HQ.
It seems they are putting that RM4 mil to good use (expenditure on this by-election alone from the police side), with lots of FRU trucks stationed at strategic places around the P44 area.
Shaharon also brief the reporters about yesterday’s aggression by PKR supporters towards two reporters, one from NST, and the other from French news agency, BHL press news.
He said no arrest had been made yet, and tried his best to sound professional by not naming which party supporters were involved in the attack.
‘Police are currently trying to identify the attackers,” said Shaharon, adding that they were investigating the case under section 148 of the Police Act, using the photographs taken by the complainant during the scuffle at the nomination centre (Tengku Bainun) yesterday.
In an immediate response today, PP candidate and PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim accused the mainstream media (RTM) for immediately apportioning the blame on the party.
“I say let us investigate and punish those perpetrators irrespective of whether they are from PAKATAN RAKYAT or BARISAN NASIONAL,” he said at a press conference today.
“My point is the mainstreatm media is at fault for presenting a biased case, not only that, but malicious attack (against PKR)”.
A reporter asked if gangsterism is prevalent in PKR.
“Where are you from? Berita Harian says that gangsterism is prevalent in PKR. When Khairy Jamaluddin and gang threw bottles (at us in Ijok), it is not wrong.
“This Berita Harian culture must be corrected. This is slander and traitorous. We oppose corruption and cruelty. This must be corrected. If there is evidence that it is PKR or Pakatan person(s), they won’t be left off the hook,” added Anwar.