Sunday, September 20

Parlimen Digital reps ‘questioned’ by police

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KOTA KINABALU: Several representatives from the youth run virtual “Parlimen Digital” were contacted by police after the end of their first ever session yesterday, including delegates from Sabah.

One of the representatives, Wilson Gan Poi Tzen of Keningau said he was called by a special branch officer who asked questions about his background, including NGO and and his political affiliation.

“I was invited for a drink in a coffee shop for a chit-chat in Keningau but I am currently in Kota Kinabalu, so I may be meeting him next week.

“He did not ask much, mostly my involvement in NGO and politics, and I already explained that I am not affiliated with any political parties. I believe the call was made regarding my involvement in the Parlimen Digital session today, because I was told some of the other representatives were also called,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Penampang representative, Shaan Gom in his social media post also confirmed it.

“Yes. This is true. A number of us from Sabah was called for questioning. It is truly sad that they’re trying to intimidate us while all we want to do is to raise our concerns,” he said in his Twitter post.

Meanwhile, Kalabakan representative Addy Samsudin said he did not receive any call from the police, hoping the second debate session of the digital “parliament sitting” today would encourage the government to hold online Dewan Rakyat meetings, because it is possible.

“The parliament has not convened for any debate since December last year, and we are frustrated with the government for refusing to hold online meeting, if the pandemic is their reason. The youth has proven that it is possible.

“When I was informed that some of the representatives were called by the police, it is even frustrating.

“A call from the police is already intimidation. Why disturb when we are proving something that can be done by the government? There is nothing to hide, because everything we discussed, debated were live on Facebook,” he said.

With the topic titled “The need for an Economic Stimulus Plan Specifically for Youths”, the session yesterday saw 25 youths debating starting from 9am until around 12.30pm.

It ended with a vote by all members of the “house”.

Parlimen Digital is an initiative by non-governmental organisations Challenger Malaysia, Undi 18,  Liga Rakyat Demokratik and United Nations Association Malaysia (UNAM) Youth to show that parliament can be moved online without compromising its function and tradition.

The two-day session was participated by 222 youth representatives reflecting the federal seats in Malaysia.
The first day session gained more than 80,000    views on Facebook.