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Sunday, October 31, 2021

PKR attempts 'no-crowd' ceramah, gets slapped with RM10k fine anyway

 


PKR has been slapped with a RM10,000 fine for organising an election-related event in Malacca, despite the party’s attempt to hold a ‘no-crowd’ mobile ceramah to avoid spreading Covid-19.

The party's information chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin said PKR decided to hold two ‘no-crowd’ mobile ceramahs (campaign speeches) last night in the Paya Rumput area.

In these ceramahs, he explained, the speakers would stand on a makeshift stage on a lorry parked in the middle of residential areas and give their speeches through loudspeakers, before moving onto the next location.

Those who are interested can sit in front of their own houses to listen to the speeches without any crowds gathering, he said.

“There is no meeting or gathering (in these ceramahs) that would cause new (Covid-19) clusters and the programme cannot be considered a social event.

“When we were holding our programme at Taman Krubong Jaya last night, the police issued a compound which stated our wrongdoing was violating the Covid-19 SOPs by holding an election-related event.

“PKR was given a RM10,000 compound, which to me is an unreasonable amount because there was no physical contact, no gathering, and it was a mobile programme,” Shamsul said.

He was speaking during a press conference held in Malacca and simultaneously livestreamed online today.

The Health Ministry earlier announced that all physical gatherings and social events related to the upcoming Malacca state election will be banned.

The ministry already fined BN RM10,000 after the coalition held a programme in Kuala Lumpur to launch its election machinery for the Malacca state polls.

Based on Malaysiakini’s observation of that event, it was attended by at least several hundred BN leaders and members.

Shamsul said PKR was trying to be creative and careful with their approach to this election when they came up with the no-crowd mobile ceramahs, but regretfully the police still issued them a compound.

“This is something regretful and I urge the Health Ministry to review more thoroughly the details in the context of not being able to hold any gatherings or social events throughout the election.

“It is unreasonable if we cannot campaign in this election,” the Hang Tuah Jaya MP said.

He also suggested for the Home Affairs Ministry to hold a briefing for police officers who may be confused about the SOPs and related regulations.

For now, PKR will write to both the Health Ministry and the Home Affairs Ministry about this matter.

They will also talk to their lawyers to see if this can be pursued in court.

Shamsul also claimed BN leaders held a programme in Malacca last night which involved a number of people gathering.

“Were they also slapped with this compound?” he questioned.

“Our caution was not appreciated but we were directly fined the same amount as a party who held a big gathering,” he added, referring to the BN machinery launch party. - Mkini

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