Selangor police chief Arjunaidi Mohamed defended the midnight questioning of doctors at Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang, or MAEPS, explaining that this was for the doctors’ own convenience.
At a press conference today, Arjunaidi said the doctors were giving their statements over the alleged intrusion by six journalists who wanted to report on junior doctors going on strike at the COVID-19 treatment center. He also said that the six journalists will be summoned for questioning.
“We have never restricted the media’s freedom,” he told the press today. “But if we know that there are dangerous elements in place, can we just let them enter? It’s our responsibility to protect the people’s well-being.”
Arjunaidi declined to disclose the names of the media outlets those journalists were working for.
“Aside from the journalists endangering themselves, what if they contract the virus there and bring the virus out?” he asked, adding that the media practitioners were not in full personal protective equipment suits.
“For the protest held by the doctors itself, there’s no investigation at all,” he said. He maintained that the protest did not breach the law or any COVID-19 protocols.
Investigations are being conducted under Section 448 of the Penal Code for trespassing, which provides for a maximum sentence of three years in prison or a fine of RM5,000 (about US$1,200), or both, upon conviction.
Junior doctors at various hospitals across Malaysia staged a walkout yesterday to protest unfair treatment stemming from their contract employment. The strike went on for some time at MAEPS before it got canceled as social media exchanges circulated online showing doctors receiving threats of arrest.
This article, MAEPS doctors questioned about journalists not protest: police, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.