KUALA LUMPUR, 17 Dec 2008: The police will not stop Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit) from handing over a memorandum to Parliament tomorrow provided it does not involve a parade or bicycle convoy to the extent of disrupting public order.
Kuala Lumpur Deputy Chief Police Officer Datuk Abu Samah Mat said it was up to Parliament whether to accept the memorandum but it would be against the law if it involved a large group of people and in the form of a procession.
“Until today, we have not received any application for a permit from the ‘Cycling For Change’ campaign organiser.
“Therefore, the procession is not allowed at all,” he told reporters after launching the Occupational Health and Safety Campaign at Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station today.
He said the police would take firm action on the organiser and participants if they were adamant about wanting to stage a cycling procession to Parliament.
Abu Samah said his men would not hesitate to take action similar to what the Selangor police did recently which included arresting people under the Child Act if children below 18 years old were involved.
He said the police had made preparations and on the ready as usual with precautionary measures including the possibility of mounting up roadblocks.
Meanwhile, Sungai Siput Member of Parliament Dr D Jeyakumar said the Cycling For Change campaign in Rawang on 15 Dec, organised by Jerit, did not exploit children.
He told reporters at Parliament lobby that the 28 children aged below 18 years old took part after obtaining consent from their parents.
“While in detention in Rawang, I called their parents to pick up their children. But I was surprised when they said if their children were happy with me they would allow them to continue cycling and they also trusted me.
“The children have obtained consent letters from their parents to join the campaign to bring forward people’s issues,” he said.
He also said that a memorandum would be presented to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament tomorrow on the objective of the campaign.
He also denied that Jerit was an unlawful organisation.
“Jerit is not a new body. It was set up in 2002. It is not true to say Jerit is an unlawful organisation because it has been registered as a non-governmental organisation,” he said.
Yesterday, Selangor Chief Police Officer Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said Jeyakumar could face action under Section 32 of the Child Act 2001 for exploiting children in the illegal assembly.
Police were also considering taking action on the parents for allowing the 28 children to take part on the cycling campaign, he said.
In the Rawang incident, the police arrested Jeyakumar, Rawang Assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei and the 28 children for taking part in the Jerit campaign. — Bernama