Police deny allegation of bias in approving cross-district movement permit

Datuk Aidi Ismail

KUCHING: The police have refuted allegations by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak that only Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) elected representatives move freely across districts.

Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail said the statement issued by Sarawak Keadilan State Leadership Council (MPN) dated May 6, is false.

“The travel permit given to elected representatives of any political parties is for them to carry out their official duties as elected representatives.

“Any member of a party or non-governmental organisation (NGO), who on the pretext of extending assistance, are not included in official duties.

“Therefore, those who wish to donate welfare aid can hand them (assistance) over directly to the Divisional Resident’s Office to be managed by the relevant Divisional Welfare Department,” he explained.

The State police chief emphasised that the issue of non-transparency did not arise in the issuance of travel permits as alleged.

Last Thursday, PKR Sarawak deputy chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh, appealed to the police to be more transparent and fair in considering cross-district travel applications to political parties for the purpose of welfare duties, especially in an effort to help ease the burden of the rural poor.

“I found there was something wrong in this procedure, where elected representatives from GPS are moving freely across districts every week, while we are facing difficulties.

“Our application on Wednesday was the fourth time that it was not approved. We were asked to attach a letter from the party, however, it was a dead-end even though the letter has been attached,” he said.

Abang Zulkifli requested the police to act more appropriately because the party had wanted to extend assistance to the poor who are in dire need.

He pointed out that they were just sending the package aid to party representatives in certain areas, who would then distribute them to the needy.