PETALING JAYA: A court decision is expected on Nov 22 on the fate of Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS), which was outlawed by the Federal Government in 2014.
The date was set by the High Court in Penang yesterday after hearing arguments in an application by the state government for a judicial review of the Home Minister’s declaration that PPS was an unlawful organisation under the Societies Act.
The state government wants an order to quash the minister’s declaration, and seeks a declaration from the court that PPS was established legally under the Local Government Act and did not come under the Societies Act.
The state also sought a restraining order to prevent the government and the police from conducting raids on PPS premises or detaining PPS members.
The home minister, the Inspector-General of Police and the Malaysian Government were named in the suit.
The Federal Government argued that the Home Minister had declared PPS as an unlawful society under the Societies Act and contended that the minister had absolute discretion to do so if a society was prejudicial to public order.
The home minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in an affidavit in response to the suit that the PPS structure fell within the definition of a society.
He also stated that there had been police reports against PPS members about assaults which created an atmosphere of anxiety and fear among the public, and that the police had found PPS members with criminal or drug records.
However, the state government contends that PPS was established under the Local Government Act and complemented the police and other government and law enforcement agencies.
Shamsul Bolhassan, for the government, said it was lawful for Zahid to declare the PPS as an unlawful society. However, Tommy Thomas, for the state government, said Zahid had not explained why PPS was prejudicial to public order.
The state also seeks damages, costs and any other relief.