Tuesday January 1, 2013
Groups slam attack on reporter
By TAN SIN CHOW and HAN KAR KAY
GEORGE TOWN: Five journalist organisations in the state have condemned the attack on reporter Ang Kean Siang.
They are the Penang Press Club, Penang Chinese Newspaper Reporters and Photographers Association (Pewaju), Journalists Union of North Malaya, Penang Press Employees' Cooperative Society Ltd and Seberang Prai Press Association.
The organisations said as PPS (voluntary patrol unit) is a body entrusted to maintain public order and safety, its members should not have violated law and order.
“The authority should conduct a review on the patrol unit besides enhancing discipline among its members to prevent such regrettable incidents from recurring,” they said in a joint statement yesterday.
Guang Ming Daily deputy crime chief Ang Kean Siang, 32, suffered injuries to his lips, chest, abdomen and groin after he was allegedly punched and kicked by a PPS member and another man at the unit's makeshift operations centre in Perak Lane on Sunday.
Ang, who had earlier gone to an apartment in that area after a 39-year-old woman fell to her death, said one of the attackers had warned him not to take pictures and even slammed his camera onto the floor.
Penang Barisan Nasional also condemned the act of the PPS member in attacking the journalist.
State Barisan Working Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, who is also state Gerakan chairman, urged the Penang Government to come out openly and assure the public that similar violent attacks would not happen again in the future.
“Since the unit group was established by the state government, the security support group must live up to expectations, especially when PPS is supposed to look after the security of the people,” he told a press conference at the Barisan headquarters in Jalan Datuk Keramat yesterday.
Dr Teng said the state government should review the mechanism of PPS if they could not ensure that violent acts would not happen again.
“Prior to establishing PPS, the state government should be aware of all issues such as the background and criminal records of the members,” he said.
Penang MCA secretary Lau Chiek Tuan said the state government should conduct a probe into PPS since Ang was assaulted at the beat base.
“The state Pakatan (Rakyat)-led administration must provide a reasonable explanation to the public since PPS is an establishment of the state government,” he said in a statement.
Lau said that although Pakatan claimed to support press freedom, they held double standards whereby news coverage was only limited to reports which were positive and deemed favourable to them.
“Pakatan will suppress all aspects on any news which convey negative messages, including having its supporters use the media in slandering their opponents with vulgar language, and then turning a blind eye to it,” he said.
Penang PPP chairman Datuk Loga Bala Mohan, who was also present, said the state government should have selected the right individuals with the proper calibre to join PPS.
“As it concerns public safety, the state government should put a policy before establishing the security support group,” he said.