Cops probing Segamat flood volunteers over alleged violation of SOPs

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The road to Segamat and Kampung Batu Badak is almost fully submerged in floodwater at Kampung Seberang Batu Badak, Segamat December 5, 2022. — Bernama pic
The road to Segamat and Kampung Batu Badak is almost fully submerged in floodwater at Kampung Seberang Batu Badak, Segamat December 5, 2022. — Bernama pic

JOHOR BARU, Jan 10 — The Johor police are investigating a political party’s alleged violation of standard operating procedures (SOP) related to the delivery of assistance to flood victims in the state.

Johor acting police chief Datuk Khaw Kok Chin said the investigation was carried out after a politician made a statement on providing assistance to flood victims in Segamat through a press conference broadcasted live on social media yesterday.

He said the investigation will be in accordance with the provisions under the law and the outcome of the probe will be referred to the Attorney General's Chambers before any charges are made.

“The state government through the district office has issued procedures, SOPs and regulations aimed at proper coordination and safety for the benefit of all relevant parties.

“With that, the police do not consider that any volunteers from non-governmental organisations or political parties who are providing assistance is committing an offense.

“If there is a report received, then it is the responsibility of the police to conduct an investigation,” said Khaw in a statement issued here last night.

The statement was believed to be in response to press conference by Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman on the issue of six of the political party volunteers who were called up by police for providing aid for flood victims directly without going through official channels.

However, the Johor police did not name Syed Saddiq or the political party involved in their statement.

Khaw said the case was being investigated under Section 188 of the Penal Code which if convicted, could result in imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to RM2,000 or both.

He reminded the public to not misuse social media and other platforms that go against the law.

“Police will not hesitate to take stern action under the law on any individuals found to be disrupting public safety and security,” said Khaw.

Yesterday, Syed Saddiq had claimed that six Muda volunteers were questioned by the police for delivering aid directly to flood victims at homes and temporary flood evacuation centres in Segamat.

In a press conference that was broadcasted live on Facebook, the Muar MP apologised and urged police, as well as the authorities to be flexible with volunteers who are trying to assist flood victims.

“Please don’t treat volunteers like criminals just because they provide help directly to the victims.

“I hope the police will show empathy and compassion towards the volunteers. The volunteers are working day and night without hoping for anything in return,” said Syed Saddiq.

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