Friday, May 24, 2013

Ahmad Zahid: Adhere to Act or pay a heavy price

Those who do not adhere to the Peaceful Assembly Act will “pay a heavy price” for their offence, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said organisers of mass rallies should respect the law and not create chaos because there was a “silent majority” among the people who did not agree with these gatherings.

Ahmad Zahid was responding to questions from reporters on the recent mass protests organised by Opposition parties where election fraud was alleged.

“I have said from early on that if they plan to hold gatherings outside the provisions of the Act, if there are those who continue to be stubborn, they have to pay a heavy price if the police take action.
“I have given full power to the IGP (Inspector-General of Police) to enforce the law and this will be done without interference from me,” he said after a working visit to the Immigration Department here on Thursday.

Later, during a working visit to the National Registration Department here, Dr Ahmad Zahid told newsmen that the Government would not interfere with the ongoing police crackdown on individuals allegedly involved in seditious activities over the past few weeks.

He said he would leave all “operational matters” in the hands of the police.
“I am sure the police have sufficient evidence and proper basis to make the arrests. I have no hand in the arrests. For further information, please ask the police,” he said.

Among those arrested were student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim, PKR vice-president Tian Chua, Tamrin Ghafar of PAS and social activist Harris Ibrahim.

On another matter, the minister cautioned that action would be taken “very soon” against foreigners who had overstayed or abused their travel or student visas.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the Immigration Department was actively monitoring such foreigners who contributed to social ills during their stay in the country.

Action would also be taken against those who abused their student visas by conducting activities outside the scope of their visas, such as business activities.
“I don't want to give a warning but don't get mad at us if action is taken in the nearest time possible.
“If your visa has expired, surrender yourself and we can solve this in a good manner,” he said.

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