Sunday, August 18, 2013

SUPP, DAP bump into each other as former lodges report against Chong - The Star Online

KUCHING: It was a collision of blue and red as SUPP and DAP officials bumped into each other at a police one-stop centre here.

Arriving barely 30 minutes apart, they were there regarding statements made by state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen on the recent spate of crime cases across the nation.

The remarks resulted in police reports being made accusing Chong of sedition. One report was lodged on Wednesday by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who claimed that Chong said the Barisan Nasional engineered the crimes to justify the re-introduction of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) or EO-like laws.

Chong, however, denied making the remarks and that he was speaking about the security situation in the country and what needed to be improved in the police force like reassessing the designation of jobs.

He was called in yesterday to give his statement to the police.

Pending assemblyman Violet Yong also had her statement recorded as she was present during the press conference where Chong was said to have made the remarks.

As for SUPP Youth, the officials lodged an additional report against Chong concerning the same thing.

The report was lodged by Batu Lintang member Sivanesan Sanmugalingam.

Speaking to reporters later, SUPP Youth chief Tan Kai admitted that there had been a worrying increase in crime.

He said he was told by police that with the abolishment of the EO, the authorities found it hard to go after criminals, especially the hardcore ones.

SUPP Youth secretary-general Wilfred Yap also explained that the EO was a preventive law that helped in terms of keeping hardcore criminals in restricted residence even when the evidence to prosecute them proved insufficient.

He said things were not as easy as it seemed because police had certain procedures to comply when making an arrest.

"The laws are there to protect human rights but on the other hand, we must also have certain laws that helps the police to do their jobs well. There must be a balance."

He also said that the introduction of new preventive laws which had been talked about would enable the police to do their jobs better and not simply arrest people as the Opposition implied.

Sivanesan on the other hand called on the Opposition to stop politicising the situation.

"His statements are very misleading and can cause the public to distrust the Government. This is dangerous. If this continues, the Government would be at odds with the people it is trying to protect."

He said the Government should use existing laws to get Chong as well as teach others a lesson not to play politics with the people's safety.

When asked if it was better to have more men working the ground rather than enacting preventive laws, the SUPP Youth group said they could not comment as they did not have the statistics.

Later, Chong held a press conference telling SUPP to do its homework first before making such statements.

He found it regrettable that SUPP Youth was unaware of the statistics made available to the Royal Commission of Enquiry and tabled in Parliament.

"Any policymaker serious about improving security in our country would read and understand the report. SUPP's lack of knowledge shows that they are not serious at all about security. They are just fooling around in politics."

He said it was sad that a political party with SUPP's history had been reduced to such standards and headed by non-serious politicians.

Chong said the police should not be so obsessed with the re-introduction of EO-like laws and improve the force by reallocating jobs and reassigning the personnel.

"In some cases investigative officers are piled with overwhelming number of cases. This affects their ability to do quality investigation to catch criminals."

He urged the police to put more effort into dealing with the real issues instead of wasting time on baseless police reports.
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