UPDATEDBy Clara Chooi
IPOH, Jan 17 – A man, believed to be a police special branch officer, was “detained” by DAP's security personnel when he was caught red-handed recording the proceedings of the party's national convention at the Syuen Hotel here today.
According to party insiders, the man had sneaked into the control room for the ballroom where the function is being held and had managed to record at least eight sound clips of the entire convention's proceedings since 10am this morning.
DAP Chenderiang branch chairman Leong Soon Fatt, who is a part of the DAP's security team for the convention, said that at about 4pm, he saw someone observing the proceedings from the window of the control room.
“I was inside the ballroom at the time. When I looked up at the window of the control room, I saw someone watching the proceedings.
“That was when a group of us from the security team decided to go up to confront the man,” he told a press conference here after the convention.
Leong said that when the security team reached the scene, the man, known only as Lau, had left the control room to hide himself in another room adjacent to it.
“But in his hurry, he had left his recording device in the control room. It was still taping the proceedings,” he said.
Since the other room was locked, Leong said he sought the assistance of a hotel staff to open the door.
“The man was hiding behind the door. When we confronted him, he at first refused to admit that he was a police officer,” he said.
One of the members of the security team recognised the man as one of the police officers who had participated in the series of arrests made during the controversial May 7 state assembly sitting last year.
“He then admitted that he was a police officer and told us that he was just acting under the orders of his superiors.
“We then confiscated his recording device and let him go,” said Leong.
Despite having been found out, the man was still seen loitering around the hotel to observe the tail end of the convention's proceedings.
Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham lambasted the police for their act of intruding on the people’s privacy.
“It is not about whether or not we were discussing secrets during our convention but about the fact that the police have absolutely no respect at all for the privacy of others.
“Under the law, a person who enters the convention or meeting of a private organisation is clearly committing trespass,” he said.
He added that the police were so inefficient in combating crime but were instead very good at intruding on the private functions of others.
“It is not just about the privacy of the DAP but this could happen to others, too. You could be recorded while you are sleeping or doing other things.
“In fact I believe that many of our phones are also tapped. Malaysians should condemn this sort of behaviour from the police,” he said.
Ngeh added that a police report would also be lodged on the matter.