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Thursday September 22, 2016
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Pakatan Harapan leaders (Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, second from right) demands an explanation from the police after being refused entry at the Election Commission office in Kuala Lumpur on September 22, 2016. ― Picture by Yiswaree PalansamyPakatan Harapan leaders (Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, second from right) demands an explanation from the police after being refused entry at the Election Commission office in Kuala Lumpur on September 22, 2016. ― Picture by Yiswaree PalansamyKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 ― Opposition lawmakers who arrived to submit their objections to the proposed electoral redelineation were blocked from entering the Election Commission (EC) office here today.

Police personnel stationed at the lobby of Menara TH Selborn here refused entry to Pakatan Harapan leaders despite several attempts to seek clarification on the order for the block.

“I just want to find out, what the exact order was? Just Pakatan Harapan or the public too?” Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai questioned one of the policemen here.

“If you ask us to go through the objection process but you don’t want to see us, then how?” Wangsa Maju MP Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong asked.

The police officer on duty reiterated that he was following orders, but declined to elaborate.

The group were then told to hand their objection papers to security personnel, to be delivered to Federal Territories EC director Mohd Nazri Ismail.

In a press conference later, the opposition leaders expressed disappointment at being barred from the EC office, saying they were merely carrying out their duties as concerned citizens.

Kuala Krai MP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) election director Dr Hatta Ramli insisted that the EC had a duty to meet complainants.

“What we were told by the security is that the EC does not want to meet anyone with regards to this redelineation in this one month. I feel this is very unfair, because for us to study and object, we need information,” he said.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, who is Lembah Pantai MP, said that analyses show that the proposed redelineation would prevent the ruling Barisan Nasional government from ever being voted out.

The EC notified the public this week of its plan to redraw the boundaries of 12 parliamentary and 34 state constituencies, with several also to be renamed.

The move was met with criticism not only from the usual sources in the opposition, but also some in the ruling BN including MCA and Gerakan that voiced concerns over the apparent segregation of voters along ethnic lines.

The EC has denied that the move was meant to help protect the political power of the Malay-based Umno, the lynchpin of the BN coalition.

It further said the redelineation was not yet final and still subject to public objections.

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