Ministry freezes funds of Penang Voluntary Patrol

Ministry freezes funds of Penang Voluntary Patrol
Datuk Seri Mohamad Khalid Shariff

GEORGE TOWN - The Home Ministry has not only declared the 9,000-strong Penang Voluntary Patrol unit (PPS) as illegal, it has also decided to freeze all accounts and assets of the organisation.

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohamad Khalid Shariff said the activities carried out by the unit, set up by the state government, were detrimental to public order in the country.

"Those who still conduct activities pertaining to PPS will be investigated and charged in court under Act 335 and Section 6(2), 6(3), 42 and 48 of the Act, and Section 142 of the Penal Code," he said.

"PPS is a violation of the law under Section 5(1) of the Societies Act 1966. The ministry has the authority to declare the unit as breaching the law," he said in a statement.

He said that with the declaration, no one could use the name, logo or emblem of the PPS under Section 7(3)(b) of the same Act.

Mohamad Khalid urged the people to give their cooperation in helping the Government curb PPS' activities, which went against existing laws.

He said all accounts, assets and properties of the unit would be handed over to the Insolven­cy Department.

It is not known what the assets of the unit are, but it is learnt that each Pakatan Rakyat elected representative and coordinator is given an annual allocation of between RM15,000 (S$5,796) and RM20,000 to run PPS activities.

Earlier, it was reported that police had extended the bail of 158 PPS members, who were arrested on Aug 31, to Dec 1.

They were arrested during the Merdeka Day parade at the Esplanade here for allegedly ignoring warnings not to carry out any activities after the unit was deemed illegal.

The unit was apparently not registered with the Registrar of Societies. The state government then suspended its activities, including its emergency response and community policing.

PPS was set up by the Penang state executive council in 2009 to fight crime and help with voluntary work.

There was no immediate response from state leaders and those contacted said they preferred to leave it to Lim Guan Eng.

The Penang Chief Minister is scheduled to hold a press conference today.

Meanwhile, state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh, who was PPS chairman, is in Taiwan attending a conference.

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