PETALING JAYA, 24 June 2009: Police in Selangor have yet again denied the DAP a permit to hold a dinner gathering with speeches.
The event, scheduled to be held tomorrow on 25 June 2009 at the Taman Sri Sungai Pelek Community Hall, was originally issued a permit with strict conditions but within the same day, the permit was withdrawn.
The police had on 23 June given a permit for the event, organised by Sungai Pelek DAP, on the condition that the dinner had to be contained in the hall and no political speeches were made. The organisers had to also ensure that the loudspeakers for the event faced into the hall and that the event ends at midnight.
However, another letter from Sepang district police chief Supt Zahedi Ayob on the same day immediately revoked the permit.
“In view of the swift preparations being conducted in the area of the hall, we can conclude that the conditions we have set will be broken.
“As such, I am revoking the permit for the event because I am confident the event will jeopardise security,” he said in his letter to Wong Chuan How, who is Sungai Pelek DAP secretary.
Wong told The Nut Graph that the DAP was appealing the police’s decision, adding however that the party would carry on with the dinner for an expected 1,800 people no matter what the police decided.
But the party has yet to decide whether or not they would give speeches. “We will insist on holding our dinners, but maybe it’s a silent dinner because of this. We don’t know,” he said.
DAP national vice-chairperson Tan Kok Wai said the situation was very unusual.
“No dinner held here before was rejected by the police if there was an application,” he said in a phone interview.
When contacted, Supt Zahedi would not say what action the police would take if DAP held the dinner should their appeal for a permit be rejected.
Wong also said that holding the dinner in the hall was restrictive because it was not big enough to hold 1,800 people.
The party had originally applied to hold its dinner in a football field but police rejected the party’s application because the field was a “public place”.
The police suggested then that the party should hold the event in a building or a hall.
This is the second time in a week police have rejected a permit for the DAP to hold a dinner. On Sunday, 21 June 2009, police withdrew a permit for a DAP dinner in Klang at the last minute.
The police had imposed a similar condition forbidding speeches. They finally allowed the Klang dinner, organised by DAP Member of Parliament Charles Santiago, to go ahead, but confiscated the public address system and surrounded the event with water cannons.
On 16 May 2009, police also stopped a DVD screening of the 7 May state assembly crisis in Perak at a DAP dinner in Sitiawan.