Penang seeks to reinstate its banned voluntary patrol body

Opalyn Mok
State exco Phee Boon Poh and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng hold a purple PPS vest at a press conference today. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 10 — The Penang government hopes to reinstate the banned Penang Voluntary Patrol unit (PPS) by sending an appeal to the prime minister and home minister.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said PPS should be reinstated as soon as possible.

“The Penang state government will prepare the report, the chief minister will sign it and I will help to forward it to the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for consideration,” he said in a press conference here today.

The former Penang chief minister said he had pushed for and supported the formation of PPS in 2011.

“So I hope to help Penang get the support from the Home Affairs Ministry to reinstate PPS in Penang,” he said.

He added that the Court of Appeals already ruled in March last year that PPS was lawfully set up by the state government so it should be allowed to recommence operations.

State Environment, Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said many people want PPS to be brought back.

“We want to appeal to the prime minister and home minister to consider our application and allow us to set up PPS again,” he said.

He said PPS did not commit any offence and had not broken any law.

“Since we did not commit any offence, PPS should be allowed to continue,” he said.

PPS, which had 9,002 members at the time, was formed under the state executive council to help with voluntary work and patrol neighbourhoods.

The unit was declared illegal by the Home Ministry under the previous government in 2014.

Some 158 PPS members along with Phee were arrested after a Merdeka parade on August 31, 2014.

The Registrar of Societies also declared PPS an unregistered body.

The Penang state government took the case to court but in 2016, the Penang High Court dismissed the state’s application for a judicial review on the Home Ministry’s declaration that PPS was illegal.

The High Court’s decision was overturned by a three-bench Appeals Court last year.

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