Malaysia

Penang volunteer unit drops member over reporter’s assault

By Opalyn Mok
January 16, 2013

Chief Minister Lim previously said the matter would be reviewed following protestations over the PPS member’s suspension. — File picChief Minister Lim previously said the matter would be reviewed following protestations over the PPS member’s suspension. — File picGEORGE TOWN, Jan 16 ― Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) has dismissed the member involved in the assault of a reporter in December.

The Penang state executive council, which discussed the issue today, decided that the PPS member, Lim Ah Chye, should be removed from the voluntary service.

The unit’s chairman and state executive councillor, Phee Boon Poh, announced the decision today, just hours after four media organisations handed over a petition with 201 signatures to the state government demanding that Lim be dismissed from PPS.

On Monday, Phee announced that Lim had been suspended from duty for three months, which raised the ire of reporters present.

Lim previously admitted to being involved in the assault of Guang Ming Daily reporter Ang Kean Siang and had pleaded guilty to the offence in court, where he was fined RM3,000.

In the December 30 incident, Ang was assaulted by a group of men, one of whom was a PPS member, at the unit’s makeshift operations centre in Perak Lane, after covering a suicide incident.

A panel was set up to investigate the incident and had arrived at the decision to suspend Lim in its third meeting on January 11.

Following the uproar by the media and representatives from the Penang Chinese Newspapers Reporters and Photographers’ Association (Pewaju) at a press conference, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the panel’s decision will be discussed by the state exco today for a final decision.

This morning, four media organisations ― Pewaju, Journalist Union Of North Malaysia, Penang Press Club and Penang Newspapers Workers Cooperative ―  handed over the petition to the chief minister demanding that the state government not compromise on issues of safety when it involved a volunteer unit to ensure public safety.

After Phee’s announcement today, Pewaju secretary Ooi Choon Nam said he is glad that the state government had heeded the media’s demands.

“Now, we hope the state government will continue investigating to see if other PPS members were involved in the incident,” he said.