MEMBAKUT: Police have detained a man after he was seen bringing a wooden sword to a peaceful gathering against the introduction of Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) here.
District police chief Deputy Superintendent Azmir Abd Razak said they detained him not because he was a threat but as a precautionary measure.
"It is learnt that the wooden sword was to be used for a performance, but we still have to investigate whether there was any other intention," he told reporters at the gathering dubbed "Himpunan Solidariti Rakyat Bantah PSS".
Held at the old Membakut town, Azmir said there were about 400 people at the gathering organised by local non-governmental organisations namely Sabah People's Education Improvement Organisation (Pipa) and Sorak Sabah.
The gathering was carried out in conjunction with the ongoing campaign for the Kimanis parliamentary by-election.
Prominent state opposition leaders who were present include former Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) secretary general Datuk Jahid Jahim, and PBS information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.
Sabah Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Star deputy president Datuk Ellron Angin, and Sabah MCA Women chief Dr Pamela Yong, among others, were also in attendance.
Azmir said the event went on smoothly without any untoward incident, adding that the organiser has complied with the two-hour duration given for the group to express their objections against the PSS.
"There was no problem and everyone dispersed upon our advise. As for election offences throughout the Kimanis by-election campaign, 15 police reports have been lodged.
"So far, we have opened eight investigation papers for offences pertaining to bribery, defamation, and destroying campaign materials," he said, adding the investigations involved both contesting parties.
The Kimanis by-election will see Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Datuk Karim Bujang going against Barian Nasional candidate Datuk Mohamad Alamin in an attempt to capture the BN-traditional seat on Jan 18.