PUTRAJAYA — May 14, 2019: The Federal Court has ruled that the Penang government has no power to form the voluntary patrol unit (PPS) since there is no legal provision for it.
The court noted that the Penang government had taken the position that unit was not a society but an association of persons constituted under laws like the federal Constitution and Local Government Act.
According to Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim, Penang’s reliance on the Local Government Act as the legal basis to form PPS was not supported by facts and the law. Zaharah delivered the decision of the five-man bench in the appeal by the federal government.
She pointed out there was also nothing in the federal Constitution that provides for the constitution of a voluntary association of persons such as the PPS to assist a state government in its administration.
“The PPS is meant to be an initiative to involve members of the public in activities which are not part of what is needed to keep the government of the state functioning,” Zaharah said.
“The establishment of a body with the stated objective of undertaking community policing is certainly outside the executive powers of the state.
“The PPS is a society under the Societies Act and the provision of the Act states that any association of seven or more persons, whatever may be the purpose of the association, is a society.”
The court also decided that the affidavit from state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh said the PPS was an association of at least 15 persons or of numerous persons.
“To enable members of the public to participate and assist in the maintenance of public order, Parliament had enacted laws such as the Rukun Tetangga Act and Malaysia Voluntary Organisations Act,” said the judge.
Section 6 of the Societies Act also requires every local society to be registered before its members can take part in any activity of or on behalf of the society.
“That the PPS was never registered is a fact. Thus, every member who organised or took part in any activity of the PPS without the written permission of the ROS committed a breach of the Societies Act and committed an offence,” said Zaharah.
In 2016, a high court dismissed the state government’s judicial review, ruling that the PPS was unlawful because it was not registered under the Societies Act but the Court of Appeal in 2017 ruled in favour of the state and declared the PPS lawful. — Bernama