GEORGE TOWN: The controversial Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS), which was outlawed by the Federal Government in 2014, made a comeback yesterday under the brandname Penang Voluntary Patrol Body (BPS).
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said it was aimed at creating a safe neighbourhood.
He said he had met with Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the police to inform them about the setting up of BPS.
“While we are thankful to the police for ensuring our safety, we feel that fighting crime should also involve the people, as part of the community policing initiative.
“I have informed Zahid and he had since acknowledged it,” he said.
Lim urged the 607 registered members to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedure approved by the state executive council and follow the advice of the state Legal Office to avert any untoward incident.
State police chief Datuk Abdul Ghafar Rajab was away in Sabah and said he would only comment on the BPS upon his return.
PPS, with more than 9,000 members, was formed by the state government in 2011 to help with voluntary work and to fight crime.
However, it was declared illegal and deemed a threat to public security by the Home Ministry in 2014 as the Registry of Societies claimed PPS was an “unregistered” body.
On the ongoing court case against PPS and its legality, Lim said a decision was expected on Nov 22. However, the state did not want to wait further.
State Welfare Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh, who oversees the voluntary patrol, said the public could download the emergency alerting system application bps.comm.help.
The application helps notify BPS members in the vicinity as well as family members if any emergency arises.-nst