Opposition to table motion in Dewan Rakyat tomorrow against door-to-door campaign rule

Radzi Razak

Opposition Leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur November 13, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — The Opposition will table a motion in the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow against a new rule requiring police permits for walkabouts and door-to-door campaigns.

Opposition Chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the directive by the Election Commission (EC) went against the Elections Act 1958 and Section 24 (3) of the Election Offences Act 1954.

“Under Section 24 (3) a candidate or his election agent may hold, convene or organise any open public meeting, open public rally, open public display or open public entertainment; or give any open public address or open public lecture, in the constituency after giving a written notice to the police officer in charge of the district.

“It says nothing about walkabout and door to door campaigning,” Ismail told reporters during a press conference at the parliament today.

Ismail added that Section 16 and Section 17 of the Elections Act clearly states that new directives require permission from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and parliamentary approval before it is implemented.

He said the Opposition is looking to take legal action on the matter after the Tanjung Piai by-election scheduled on Saturday.

Yesterday, EC chairman Datuk Azhar Harun said walkabouts were also considered a form of campaigning and, as such, their times and locations should be made clear for monitoring purposes.

He said EC officials had met with the Pontian police chief to clarify and coordinate issues related to permits and campaigning rules where walkabouts are concerned.

Ismail Sabri then complained that the ruling was made without any consultation from candidates representative and other stakeholders.

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