Ramasamy to lodge police report against Seberang Perai Selatan’s district police chief

MY staff will be lodging a police report against the Sebarang Perai Selatan (SPS) OCPD Supt Lee Chong Chern for refusing police permits for Hindu temples’ annual religious festivals in the district.

I have been in Penang for the past 15 years as the state’s Deputy Chief Minister II and chairman of the Penang Hindu Endowments Board.

During these years, we have no problems with the police in all the five districts. However, when Lee became the OCPD of SPS, the Hindus in the district began experiencing problems of getting their permits for temple or chariot processions.

These temples have organised the chariot processions from the time of the existence of their respective temples. Some of the temples have been in existence for more than 100 years.

Recently, all types of restrictions were placed on the Hindu temple in Ladang Caledonia for their annual celebrations.

Countless trips had to be made to the Jawi police station before a restricted permit was issued with all kinds of conditions.

During Thaipusam, a Murugan temple was denied permission for devotees to carry kavadi, something that the devotees had done for more than hundred years.

Despite the denial of the permit, the devotees managed to carry the kavadi. But the temple’ committee members were subsequently hauled to the police station for investigation.

Recently, Kuil Maha Muthalaman temple in Bukit Tambun applied for police permit to mark their annual religious occasion.

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy (right) and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow

The permit was applied on April 10 for the religious procession to take place on June 2. To date, the police have not issued the permit.

The person behind the unreasonable restrictions on Hindu religious activities in the SPS is none other than the current OCPD Lee.

He is not only arrogant and insensitive to the religious needs of the Hindus but also refuses to issue permits to the Hindu temples in the districts.

I am not sure whether he is equally insensitive and uncaring to other religious festivals in the districts. I have messaged to the CPO (chief police officer) in Penang about the irresponsible conduct of the SPS OCPD Lee.

To date, he has not replied my message. My calls to him yesterday (May 3) was unanswered. After failing to get the response from the CPO, I had no choice but to message Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Luckily, he answered my message saying that he would look into the matter. I even sent a message to the OCPD Lee asking him why he was delaying the issuance of permit to the Kuil Maha Muthalaman in Bukit Tambun.

Not surprising, I have not received any reply from him.

However, when thee Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) councilor David Marshel posted a message on his Facebook page about the OCPD’s conduct in refusing the police permit to the temple in Bukit Tambun, the latter was quick to pounce on David by making a police report against him for defamation.

David never defamed the OCPD but merely raised the issue as to why the police are insensitive and uncaring about the religious rights of Hindus in the SPS area of Penang.

David pointed out that the reluctance or inaction of the OCPD might raise questions about the role of the unity government towards the Hindus not just in Penang but in the entire country.

What was raised by David in his FB posting is not defamatory or intended to ridicule the police in general or OCPD Lee in particular.

Rather than lodging a police report against David, OCPD Lee should have called him to resolve the problem at hand.

Anyway, since the OCPD has chosen the path of confrontation, we have no choice but to lodge a police report against him. – May 4, 2023


Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the DAP state assemblyman for Perai. He is also Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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