GEORGE TOWN: The home ministry has the right to declare Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) illegal, the High Court here said yesterday.
In ruling against the state government, Penang High Court Judge Hadhariah Syed Ismail said there was also no need for the home minister to give any reasons for declaring the PPS illegal as it was at his sole discretion to do so.
“While the PPS had good intentions in wanting to supplement tasks that are carried out by the police, good intentions are not enough when it contravenes the law,” she said in her judgment against the state government’s application for a judicial review of the home minister’s declaration that PPS was an unlawful organisation under the Societies Act.
Judge Hadhariah said the Penang government was wrong for setting up the PPS as a security force that would perform the same duties as that of the police. She added that the ranks assigned under the PPS were also unlawful.
There was no order for costs from the plaintiffs.
On Jan 27 last year, the Penang government had filed the application for an order to quash the minister’s declaration, and sought a declaration from the court that PPS was established legally under the Local Government Act and did not come under the Societies Act.
The state also sought a restraining order to prevent the government and the police from conducting raids on PPS premises or detaining PPS members.
The home minister, the Inspector-General of Police and the Malaysian government were named in the suit.
On Oct 8, last year, Judicial Commissioner Collin Lawrence Sequerah dismissed the state government’s application for leave for judicial review.
Following an appeal, a three-man bench in the Court of Appeal ruled that the state government could set aside the Penang High Court’s decision to reject its leave application and ordered the case to be heard in the High Court.
The Penang government was represented by Eric Augustin, while senior federal counsel appeared for the federal government.