Sunday, May 24, 2009

Police raid DAP HQ, seize PC, DVDs

PETALING JAYA, May 23 — Police raided the DAP national headquarters for the first time ever this evening, carting away a computer and 19 digital video discs (DVDs).

The search and seizure, made without a warrant, was in relation to leaflets found when arrests were made during a candle-light vigil two nights ago in Pandan Indah, Kuala Lumpur, calling for fresh polls in Perak.

It is the latest in a series of crackdowns on Pakatan Rakyat (PR) attempts to gain public support on the Perak crisis which includes repeated arrests and banning of videos of the chaotic May 7 Perak assembly sitting where Speaker V. Sivakumar was dumped.

"First time in the 42-year history of DAP, police raiding our HQ," DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang posted in his Twitter account.

Three unmarked cars arrived at the headquarters and 11 plainclothes officers entered the building on the quiet Jalan 20/9 residential area in Petaling Jaya at 6.25pm.

They had brought Ooi Leng Hang, a party worker and one of the detainees from that night, who gave them the password to unlock the digital lock on the front door.

The handcuffed Ooi, who is DAP Socialist Youth political education chief, then led the police to his workstation, where police began to detail the items on his desk to be taken away.

They include his computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, earphones, external hard drives and DVDs including those related to the May 7 assembly and one labelled "Photos of Port Dickson Camp."

Treasurer Fong Kui Lun and vice-chairman Tan Kok Wai were the first DAP lawmakers to arrive at about 6.50pm followed by lawyers Gobind Singh Deo and Lim Lip Eng.

Gobind had asked the officer in charge if he had a warrant and what provision they were conducting the search under.

ASP Kamal Khan Mohd Sharif said he did not have a warrant and had to call his superior, a DSP Goh, before telling Gobind that the raid was done under Section 11 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

Gobind, DAP's legal affairs chief, allowed Ooi to sign a form detailing the list of items taken but later told reporters that the Act still requires a search warrant.

"He did not even know which provision. This shows that the police do not know what they are doing," the Puchong MP said, adding that he would lodge a report against the "trespass" and also write to the Selangor police chief on the matter.

National organising secretary Teresa Kok called the raid another "scare tactic" after several arrests made at vigils to quash dissent against what is perceived an undemocratic takeover of the Silver State.

"They arrested people just for wearing black and holding candles," the Selangor senior executive councillor said.

DAP Socialist Youth national secretary Loh Chee Heng condemned the raid, calling it "the latest despicable act by the police in their ongoing crackdown on the nation’s democracy."

"The police’s possible ludicrous move to charge Ooi, DAPSY deputy chairperson Jenice Lee and the other 14 DAPSY members and supporters under the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act is extremely regrettable," Loh said, demanding the immediate unconditional release of those who were arrested at Thursday night’s vigil.

The police left the DAP headquarters after about an hour.

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