Penang govt denies gangster involvement in PPS

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government has denied that gangsters are involved in the Volunteer Patrol Teams (PPS) and said that the organisation was being made a scapegoat by certain individuals to criticise the policies of the state government.

PPS chairman Phee Boon Poh said he regretted that the team members had been severely criticised on the social media, including accusations that the security body was linked to gangsterism.

"Recently, there have been several status which have linked the PPS to gangsters. There is no such thing," he told reporters here today.

Last Sunday, a social activist, 51, was reportedly beaten up by a PPS member at a dinner function in Air Itam here for not liking his criticism of the state government made on Facebook.

Phee said the PPS had submitted to the police the list of all its members in three state constituencies of Air Itam, Paya Terubong and Air Putih to help in the investigations.

Phee, who is also the chairman of the Welfare, Caring Society and Environment committee, stressed that the PPS had nothing to hide and left the matter to the police to be solved.

Meanwhile, the Penang Malay Congress (KMPP) wants Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to provide in detail the functions and position of the PPS which was formed by the state government.

Its president, Rahmad Isahak said the team seemed to be using more physical force on residents in the state.

"The state government formed the team to ensure the safety of the people, but what has happened is the opposite. We wonder about the modus operandi and the credibility of the team from the legal aspect," he said in a statement here today.

He also questioned if the PPS members were truly qualified to conduct security checks on the public.

In another development, the Penang MCA Youth called on the Home Ministry to investigate if the PPS was indeed a legally registered body.

Its chairman, Michael Lee said the ministry also should investigate what their scope of duties and recruitment procedures were now that they had been accused of being involved in yet another assault.

"This alleged aggression is not PPS' first. Eighteen months ago, a PPS member Lim Ah Chai assaulted a Guang Ming Daily pressman and destroyed his camera and SIM card.

"The political secretary to Penang Chief Minister (at that time) Ng Wei Aik had to apologise to the victim, on behalf of the state government. Subsequently, the aggressor was expelled, for 'life'.

"Later, Lim Ah Chai was found guilty and fined by court. However, barely a year later, he attended the funeral of former DAP chairman, the late Karpal Singh as a PPS member," he said in a statement, here today. – Bernama