Batu MP Prabakaran Faces Charges of Flouting MCO, Obstructing Cops

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Deputy Minister Edmund Santhara denies arguments with Prabakaran.

Batu lawmaker P Prabakaran was arrested yesterday for obstructing a public servant from carrying out his duties and also for flouting the movement-control order (MCO), said a police source.

The source told The Malaysian Insight that Prabakaran was investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code and also under Rule 3 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease (Measures within the local Infected Areas) Regulations 2020.

He now faces a two-year jail sentence, a fine not exceeding RM10,000, or both, if convicted.

The Batu MP was arrested yesterday after he went to check on his constituents at the Seri Murni Apartment in Selayang, Kuala Lumpur, which was placed under the enhanced movement-control order (EMCO) hours earlier.

An aide told The Malaysian Insight that Prabakaran went to visit the constituents as he had been getting text messages they have not received any aid from the government.

“If it was not because of the complaints he would have not gone there,” Arvind Raj said.

It was reported that Prabakaran was detained by police at the scene after he had gotten into an argument with Deputy Federal Territories Minister Edmund Santhara Kumar, who was also there.

The Batu MP was released at 9pm, four hours after he was taken to the Sentul district police headquarters.

In a Facebook live video shortly after his release, Prabakaran said he had followed the standard operating procedures for lawmakers carrying out their duties during the MCO period, and that he had kept police informed of his movements.

He said he visited the Taman Sri Murni area in Selayang to check on the residents, many of whom complained that they had not yet received aid from the Social Welfare Department.

“I was not trying to be a hero, Superman or Spiderman. I just wanted to do my job as an MP,” he said.

He said during his visit, he learned that Edmund was having a meeting at a war room next to the Selayang wholesale market and he decided to pop by to have a discussion with the deputy minister.

Prabakaran said he was not allowed into the meeting, but denied he was upset about it.

“I was not disappointed or upset. I know I’m an opposition MP,” he said.

He said he waited for the meeting to end before deciding to go back to Taman Sri Murni, where he had discussions with police Special Branch officers and Health Ministry officers.

After that, he decided to visit the war room again.

“I wanted to meet the deputy minister to give some ideas about how to help the residents. I know the issues regarding the wholesale market (and its traders). You can say that I’m an expert,” Prabakaran said, adding that traders often call him to air their grievances.

When he arrived at the war room, he said police allowed him to enter. There he found Edmund was holding a press conference.

Prabakaran said he waited quietly for the presser to end, after which he went up to the deputy minister.

“But the deputy minister did not cooperate with me, did not accept my grievances.

Hariz Mohd/Malaysiakini

“I don’t know why. Maybe he was too stressed from the MCO. They asked me to leave the war room,” he said.

He said he complied, and this time, he was upset.

“If I as an MP am not treated well, what about the regular people?” he said.

He wanted to do a Facebook live video outside the war room but was told he could not record there, and hence left to do it somewhere else.

Later, as he was doing his live video elsewhere, police approached him saying Edmund wanted to meet.

The Batu MP complied and drove back to the war room, only to be told by police that they had received instruction to take him to the Sentul police district headquarters.

Prabakaran said he was there for about four to five hours and had his statement taken.

Meanwhile, Edmund has rubbished claims he was embroiled in an argument with Parbakaran before the latter was arrested by police yesterday.

He said Prabakaran had entered the command centre in Selayang where different agencies were discussing sensitive data, Malaysiakini reported.

Santhara said only those with clearance such as ministers, deputy ministers, National Security Council officers, police and Armed Forces can be present at the meeting.

“(At the time), YB (Prabakaran) opened the door and entered. Since I had not concluded the meeting and had not met with those from the Social Welfare Department, I asked him to wait outside.

“YB then raised his voiced, so I replied, ‘Can YB wait outside and let me finish the meeting?’ Is this an argument?” Santhara was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.

Santara said Prabakaran should not have uploaded a video on the incident as there are numerous witnesses to corroborate his version of events at the command centre.

Santhara said he has no intention of lodging a police report or taking legal action against Prabakaran, but added he was seeking advice from his lawyers.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

He said Prabakaran’s Facebook video appeared to be slanderous and confusing.

“During the MCO, I feel they should unite the government and opposition to serve the people,” he said.

Earlier report: Apr 20, Cops Quiz Batu MP for Breaching MCO