Malaysia

A matter of jurisdiction

Police do not intend to act against the 200 or so students and youth camping out at Padang Merbok tonight unless City Hall officers lodge a report against the trespassers, according to sources The Malaysian Insider spoke to.

This is because the field is under the control of City Hall, which has its own team of enforcement officers. They can move in to reclaim Padang Merbok from the students and youths.

Only if City Hall lodges a police report against them does it become a criminal matter. Only then can police act. The students would then be investigated for criminal trespass, an offence which carries a maximum fine of RM1,000, three months' jail, or both.

Till late last night, no police report was lodged.

City Hall staff had earlier advised the students to take down their tents but they refused to budge. This led to a minor scuffle and the City Hall officers backed away when other protesters joined in.

Since then, more tents have been put up and more than 200 students and youths are now occupying the field, which is a stone’s throw away from the Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman. - June 22, 2013

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