Sabah protesters probed for obstructing cops, assembling without permit

Participants of the ‘Pandang Ke Sabah’ rally arrested by the police at Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu. — Picture via Facebook/Amir Abd Hadi
Participants of the ‘Pandang Ke Sabah’ rally arrested by the police at Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu. — Picture via Facebook/Amir Abd Hadi

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 16 — The police have confirmed that the eight activists arrested on Malaysia Day morning are currently investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code for allegedly obstructing their officers.

They have been released on bail, and are concurrently being investigated under Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA) for allegedly failing to obtain a permit for their protest.

“Police investigation showed that the venue was a public and free space. When the event happened, the group was directed three times by authorities to disperse but they did not heed it.

“One suspect held and pushed the police and acted aggressively,” said a statement by Kota Kinabalu police chief Habibi Majinji.

Section 186 of the Penal Code states that whoever “voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions”, shall be punished with jail up to three months, or fine up to RM1,000, or both.

Section 9(5) of PAA said offenders can be fined less than RM10,000 for not notifying the district police chief within ten days prior to the assembly.

Habibi also said that nobody was injured during the assembly or the arrest, either among the suspects or the authorities.

The police also said that there were 25 of their officers and 20 from the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) during the operation, versus 25 participants of the protest.

This morning, the group said they were picked up by “a huge number of policemen” and were “physically attacked” before they were able to disperse after being warned by the authorities.

It then blamed DBKK officers for sparking off the violence.

The 10 demands of the protest attended by around 100 people included equal education rights, better public transport service and job opportunities for Sabahans.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman met with the police and activists this afternoon, during which the group delivered a memorandum to the Muar MP.

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