Police deny not approving permit for religious ceremony

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang police did approve a conditional permit for a chariot procession in conjunction with a mini-Thaipusam celebration for Hindu devotees in South Seberang Perai near here, Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain (pix) said.

He also denied claims made by a Facebook post alleging that the South Seberang Perai district police chief had deliberately delayed the process of the permit approval or did not approve such a permit.

“I would like to stress that the police have never delayed any religious permit approval, all religious permits requested have never been rejected. There are some conditions attached, and the approval for this permit was given with conditions, not turned down,” he said at a media conference here today.

South Seberang Perai district police chief Supt Lee Chong Chern was reported to have lodged a police report earlier against the owner of the Facebook account, David Marshel, a Seberang Perai City Council member after the allegations were uploaded.

Mohd Shuhaily explained that the conditional approval was given after taking into account feedback from the local community, public safety and concerns, and pointed out that the aim of the permit was to ensure public order and safety.

The case would be referred to the public prosecutor’s office once the investigation was completed, he said, adding that the case was being investigated under SEction 500 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. –Bernama