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Penang police to seek Interpol help over nude beach activity

Malaysian police in Penang are seeking the help of Interpol to trace eight foreigners who were among the 15 people who had participated in a nude activity at the Teluk Kampi beach of the Penang National Park.

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Penang police are seeking the help of Interpol to trace eight foreigners who were among the 15 people who had participated in a nude activity at the Teluk Kampi beach of the Penang National Park. Penang chief police officer Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said on Thursday (Aug 7) the eight foreigners comprised four people from Singapore, two from Myanmar and one each from the Philippines and India.

"We believe we can trace them soon so that they can assist in the investigation into the incident," he told reporters after flagging off a police health programme convoy here. The police revealed on Wednesday that they had identified the seven Malaysians who were involved in the so-called Penang Nude Sports Games 2014.

A video clip of the 'sports carnival' had been uploaded on the social media, showing nine men and six women, all in the nude, painting their bodies, dancing and participating in some sports at the beach.

Abdul Rahim said the police were trying to trace the Malaysians, aged between 20 and 50, failing which they would publish their mug shots and identity so that the public could help trace them. He also said that the police had recorded statements from 13 people over the carnival, including those on patrol duty during the so-called games.

Abdul Rahim said the police had also identified the organiser of the games, a Malaysian in his 50s who was also a participant, as well as the individual, a foreigner, who made the video recording and uploaded it onto the social media. He said the police had received 14 reports on the incident from various quarters, including NGOs.

In George Town, Deputy Health Minister and Balik Pulau MP Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya slammed the local authorities for the incident, saying it had taken place because of the lack of tight controls. "I am ashamed because the activity took place in my constituency and in a public area," he told reporters.

He said it was hoped that the authorities would act against the organiser to prevent its recurrence in the country. "This is not our culture. It will only invite more social problems if nothing is done now. Action and control by the authorities are important to ensure it is not repeated," he said.

Penang Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman criticised the state government over the incident, saying it seemed to have washed its hands off the matter because the area came under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Wednesday the area came under the jurisdiction of the Penang National Park and that it was up to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to conduct an investigation.

Zainal Abidin said Penang Umno urged the relevant authorities to expedite the probe and prosecute those involved, particularly the organiser of the activity. "The nude sports games were a severe humiliation and a disgusting activity that tarnished the good name of the people of Penang in particular and Malaysia in general," he said.  

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