KUALA LUMPUR: The Opposition bloc has filed a motion to debate the new Election Commission (EC) ruling that political campaigners for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election are required to obtain police permits for walkabouts, including door-to-door visits.
Parliamentary opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) said that the motion was filed by Tan Sri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjung Karang) for the matter to be debated in the Dewan Rakyat.
"We have filed a motion in Parliament for it to be debated on Wednesday (Nov 14) and to challenge the case in court," he told reporters at the parliament lobby.
He said the rule was made to stop agents of political parties that are contesting in the by-election.
Ismail added that the rule was unlawful as it contravenes election laws and said that the EC needs the approval of Parliament and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong if it wanted to make new rules on the progress of an election.
"This means that the EC rule is against the law as it introduced new regulations without bringing it to Parliament and to be approved by the King. It seems that EC is no longer free, and acts as a tool for the government," he said.
PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PAS-Kubang Kerian) agreed and said that the EC should come up with reasonable regulations.
"We want the EC to adhere to the current laws; those giving out money, announcing government projects and abusing government machinery, they should monitor this first. Is it possible to ask for permits whenever you visit each house?
Any new regulation should be reasonable," he said.
Meanwhile, MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said at a separate press conference that the new ruling by the EC did not make sense and wondered what other criteria will be introduced during by-elections.
He added that any by-laws should be based on the Federal Constitution.
"Don't tell me that door-to-door visits also require permits? Should I give a list on who we have met, who supports us and what-not? If we give it to the EC, who will they give it to?
"Although the EC says it is independent, too many additional rulings have been issued. I am afraid that whoever who goes to Tanjung Piai next may also need to be registered," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Wee added that Barisan is unfaltering and will continue its fight in the by-election which will take place this weekend.
He also pointed out that some ministers are campaigning at Tanjung Piai when they should be doing their work in Parliament.
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