PJ MP calls for community approach to animal welfare after scuffle between MBPJ officers and elderly dog owner

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — A Selangor federal lawmaker has called for a fair and unbiased approach by all parties after an elderly man was allegedly manhandled by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) enforcement officers during an operation to capture stray dogs in Petaling Jaya recently.

Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung said he urged MBPJ’s internal investigation on the matter to be conducted fairly, transparently and without fear or favour.

However, he also said it was time to reform the spirit, procedures, and management of community animals, calling for a ‘whole-of-society’ approach.

“This is so that pet lovers, animal rights activists, local authorities, and relevant agencies as well as individuals can contribute in meaningful ways to create a more inclusive and civilised space for human beings as well as animals in Petaling Jaya.

“The public authority should show consideration, high level of professionalism, care and compassion to all humans as well as animals during their work with the public, as well as being in line with MBPJ’s mission towards a community caring governance,” Lee said in a statement late last night.

He was commenting on an elderly man who was involved in an alleged altercation with MBPJ enforcement officers, as captured on a video that went viral, after he tried to protect his dogs from being rounded up.

However, the man will be charged in court tomorrow for preventing government officials from carrying out their duties.

The incident took place at Taman Kanagapuram, off Jalan Klang Lama here on March 23.

Lee, who is also PKR’s national communications director, said he was deeply concerned about the incident as the elderly man will be charged in court tomorrow under Section 186 of the Penal Code, for obstructing a civil servant in the discharge of his functions.

However, he acknowledged that no person should obstruct public officers when they are carrying out their duties, and the decision by the court regarding this issue will be respected.

“At the same time, I am also in solidarity with the elderly man who was at his property and showed no violence during MBPJ’s dog-capturing operation as seen in video footage shared online.

“Clearly, this incident has exposed the flaws in the procedures adopted by MBPJ in stray animal management,” said Lee, adding that it was unfortunate that enforcement operations supposedly protecting citizens have ended up in a senior citizen being hurt and now facing an obstruction charge.

Last week, Lee had served a letter to MBPJ’s Integrity Unit, demanding an explanation on the case of an elderly man allegedly roughened up by enforcement officers.

He said the letter also asked MBPJ to explain its standard operating procedure (SOP) on dog catching operations.