Opposition lawmakers who went to meet with the Election Commission (EC) over the ongoing redelineation exercise today returned disappointed.
They were not even allowed to enter the Federal Territories’ (FT) EC office here, despite having given notice of their intention and visit, according to the DAP’s Tan Kok Wai.
“We are disappointed. We had notified them of our visit, which was meant to seek an explanation on the redelineation and to collect the new redelineation maps for the FT parliamentary constituencies.
“We were told initially that our visit wouldn’t be accepted officially, but that we would be allowed to visit (unofficially) to obtain the information,” he told reporters at a press conference at the TH Selborn Tower lobby here.
While there, the group was informed of a month-long ban on engagement between political parties and the EC while the proposed exercise is taking place.
This has led the group to believe that the electoral body is working under the directive of the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government.
“It appears that the BN has not only used the redelineation exercise to its benefit, but the EC itself seems to have been manipulated to deny Pakatan representatives the right to review the proposed redelineation exercise,” charged Tan.
Parti Amanah Negara Election Director Dr Hatta Ramli, echoing Tan’s remarks, criticised the month-long ban which, he said, went against the EC’s responsibility of being accountable to the people.
“EC’s customers are the public and registered political parties, basically anyone who has any concern over election-related issues.
“If the security personnel say the EC doesn’t want to meet anyone over this (the redelineation exercise), then I think that is unfair because in order for us to review and object (to the exercise), we need all relevant information,” said Dr Hatta.
PKR Vice-President Nurul Izzah Anwar, who was also present, said this was not the first time the Opposition had been denied a meeting with the EC. In fact, they had several times in the past attempted the same but to no avail.
She urged residents in all constituencies affected by the redelineation to object against the proposal, and to attend the Nov 19 Bersih 5 rally, so “our call for justice will not be ignored”.
She added: “Join us in petitioning and appealing to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to reject the EC’s proposal, and to create a royal commission of inquiry leading to an objective, independent and democratic system of electoral district apportionment in Malaysia.”Nawar Firdaws