KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police today denied a claim by a person arrested yesterday during a protest at Kampung Muhibbah Raya, Tawau, that he was “beaten” by the officers on duty.
State police commissioner Hazani Ghazali said that this allegation was serious and he had instructed an internal investigation to be launched.
“Based on initial findings, we strongly deny any such assault took place.
“If this really happened, we welcome him to lodge a police report,” he told reporters today.
Hazani further clarified that the man, arrested during the village protest, was not a resident from Kampung Muhibbah.
He said the man and a few others were believed to have gone to the village to protest and not to distribute food aid.
“Those arrested for the protest were holding banners, written with provocative words, to object to the movement control order in Tawau.”
Hazani said the protesters had no permit to hold the demonstration and refused to disperse when ordered to do so by the police.
The state police chief said the assembly was a prohibited activity as it made physical distancing difficult.
Yesterday, seven people, aged between 26 and 31, were detained after they allegedly took part in an assembly to object to the extension of the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Kampung Muhibbah Raya until May 8. The EMCO was supposed to end yesterday.
The protesters were apparently unhappy that the livelihood and welfare of the residents affected by the EMCO had been allegedly neglected.
Police said those detained will be remanded until Monday for investigations under the Emergency Ordinance, Peaceful Assembly Act and Penal Code.