Sabah police in surprise raid on SAPP HQ

(FMT) – KOTA KINABALU: The word ‘Bersih’ (clean) will need some cleaning up after police found it inappropriate to be used on a signboard here.

Police in a midnight operation at the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) headquarters in the city questioned officials on a signpost painted with the Malay slogan “Bersih, Berani and Benar” (Clean, Brave and Truth).

They were particularly focussed on the word Bersih and demanded to know why it was used.

“The police personnel questioned why we use the word Bersih, why the background is yellow and why we choose July 9 to launch our online radio and TV,” said SAPP youth leader Chester Pang.

SAPP Women wing chief Melanie Chia, who rushed to headquarters after being alerted that about 20 police personnel were questioning its youth members in a surprise visit just after midnight, said this was harassment.

Chia said she rushed to the scene together with her husband, Edwin Liew, after she was informed that several police officers were questioning party members hours before the launch of its online radio and TV,, at 1pm today.

She was informed by Pang that one of the police officers approached him and questioned him over the design and the Malay slogan in its signboard put up outside its headquarters to mark the launching ceremony.

The group of police officers left about an hour later when they saw Chia and her husband arrive.

“Why is the Barisan Nasional government so paranoid of the word Bersih and yellow colour? What’s wrong with them?” asked Chia.

She said this paranoid display contradicted BN government’s constant projection of itself as a “Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah” (Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy) government, a slogan introduced and promoted by the former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed, when he became the Prime Minister of Malaysia back in 1981.

“Don’t tell me the present BN government has now completely forgotten about its very own slogan or that it has transformed into an “Unclean, Inefficient and Untrustworthy” government? Is this what the current prime minister meant by Government Transformation (Program),” she asked.

City Hall has no objection

Chia advised party members and the public not to be easily intimidated by the police and assured that they have no right to demand for the removal of the signboard as it was beyond their jurisdiction.

“The display of signboard comes under the jurisdiction of the DBKK (Kota Kinabalu City Hall), and in as far as we are concerned, they have not objected to it.”