Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Minister and IGP warn parties on rules of ceramah - Star

April 1, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar wants all parties not to touch on sensitive or seditious issues such as the Altantuya murder case and Malay Rulers during their ceramah.

In an immediate response, Perak PKR expressed anger over the two additional rules set by the police for granting ceramah permits. They have decided to defy the new guidelines and are welcoming the police to question them.

Syed Hamid said: “Both cases are still in court. As such, talking about them or bringing them up in crowds can be sub judice or contempt of court.”

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan gave assurance that police would continue to issue permits for ceramah for all political parties in all three by-elections.

However, he advised all candidates to strictly abide by the conditions stipulated in the permits.

“If they flout any of the conditions, we will not hesitate to revoke the permits, or even arrest them,” he said.

He also warned candidates to not utter seditious words or raise any sensitive issues that could cause tension. He said police would monitor and record all political ceramah.

Deputy Perak PKR chairman Chang Lih Kang said most speakers at Opposition ceramah have alluded to the murdered Mongolian in one way or another.

“Why are they disallowing us from speaking about Altantuya? Why can’t we speak about it? ” Chang told a press conference here yesterday.

On the rule to stop speakers from questioning decisions made by the Rulers, Chang said he was aware that the Constitution gave the royalty certain powers that should not be questioned.

“However, if the royal institution makes a decision that is outside of its powers, then it is our belief that we have the right to question it. This is our stand.”

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