The police and local council personnel have failed to bring down a canopy set up by the HRP but party leaders expect more harassment before the official launch this evening.
PORT DICKSON: A Human Rights Party (HRP) event in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, was today disrupted when local council officers and the police “raided” the venue and ordered its members to disperse.
However, HRP leader P Uthayakumar said despite the “harassment” by the authorities, the Indian-based party would continue with the event, which is the official launch of HRP’s Teluk Kemang operations centre later this evening.
At about 11am, some 20 police personnel and local council enforcement officers arrived and told the HRP leaders to dismantle their canopy that was being set up at Batu 2 1/2, Jalan Seremban, Port Dickson.
However the HRP members managed to stop the enforcement officers from tearing down their event tents.
Uthayakumar said the authorities have backed out for the time being but were still in the area. He expected the authorities to continue to harass the HRP event during the official launch at 5pm today.
“The police are still here with M16s and some 30 of their plainclothes personnel, saying we don’t have a permit eventhough our Negeri Sembilan HRP chief P Sivakumar applied for it and was rejected without reason.
“Just opposite the road there are food stalls operating without permits,” said Uthayakumar.
He said HRP members told the authorities that they would call off their event if the enforcement personnel took action against at least one illegal food stall operator.
“However, it’s clear that we’re being harassed here. Why? Because we are going to contest in Port Dickson in the coming general election. This is one of our front line seats in the 13th general election. This is our first major presence here.
“And Barisan Nasional is afraid of us… seeing us as a threat to the political equilibrium. BN fears Negeri Sembilan would fall to the opposition,” he said.
Uthayakumar said the yet-to-be-registered HRP has set up GE13 operations centre in Kedah (Lunas), Penang (Prai), Perak (Buntong), Selangor (Kota Raja), and Johor (Tebrau).
“In Perak, we willingly complied when the police stopped our speeches midway and physically stopped our official launch.
“But today, we won’t back down until the launch at 5pm. If they come to stop us, we will not give in because it is our right to assemble peacefully without harm under the Federal Constitution,” said Uthayakumar.