Source: The Mole
Securities Services Association Malaysia says Penang’s voluntary patrol squad, the Pasukan Peronda Sukarela (PPS), should seek permission from the Home Ministry if it wants to become a security unit.
Association’s president Datuk Shaheen Mirza Habib said PPS should go through the same process as other security force organisations.
He told The Mole: “PPS should apply the license from the Home Ministry so that a proper vetting procedure can be conducted.”
Shaheen however declined to comment when asked if he believes that PPS should be disbanded if it refuses to get the ministry’s approval.
Still, he questioned why is there a need for PPS to be set up in the first place, as the security issue is under the ministry’s purview and not the state government.
He said: “Who’s guarding the PPS in the first place?”
“I don’t deny that they were set up with good intention but without any monitor and control from the authority, this squad could potentially be dangerous to the society,” Shaheen added.
When pointed out that PPS is created with the approval of DAP-led state government, Shaheen said in actual fact there should be no need for it as community policing are already enacted under Rela and Rukun Tetangga.
“PPS should have been approved by the Home Ministry. Security is something that should not be taken lightly.”
“Even in the setting up of a security company, there are several requirements which need to be met, such as the security guard personnel must be clear of criminal records and assessed as having a good character,” Shaheen added.
Thus, he said, it is quite unbecoming for PPS to have anyone including an ex-convict or anyone of dubious characters as its volunteers.
“It’s all fine if power to safeguard is given to the right people. But what if it falls into the hands of people with bad intentions?” he asked.
It was reported that a journalist covering a suspected suicide case claimed he was assaulted by PPS members in Perak Lane last week.
In response to the incident the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has urged the police to conduct a detailed investigation into the assault of a journalist in Penang by a neighbourhood watch patrol.
NUJ president Chin Sung Chew had proposed that the police investigate the matter under Section 337 of the Penal Code for “causing hurt”.
Blogger and businessman Syed Akbar Ali had described PPS as similar to Adolf Hitler’s Brownshirts, and called for this squad to be monitored.
PPS chairman Phee Boon Poh had expressed regret on the incident and said that the state government would also review the current process of recruiting members.
Kedah Gerakan youth chief Tan Keng Liang had criticised the PPS, saying it seems to behave more like legalised thugs instead of working towards reducing crime.
Tan said PPS should have worked together and assisted the security forces such as the Royal Malaysian Police and Rela rather than taking matters into their own hands when it comes to enforcements or when dealing with security issues.