KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — The Shah Alam City Council stopped journalists from entering an objection hearing for its 2021-2035 draft local plan today, saying entry was by invitation only.

According to Malaysiakini, press workers covering the event were stopped when they tried to enter the briefing room in Wisma MBSA in Shah Alam today and told they were not invited.

Invitations were only extended to residents and other members of the public who lodged formal objections to the draft plan that included a proposal to rezone Rimba Komuniti Shah Alam.

Malaysiakini said local government, public transport and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han confirmed that the event was private.

“My apologies, this is a closed-door hearing,” he was quoted as saying.

When met outside the event, MBSA councillor Pappa Raidu Veraman claimed that another session would be held for the press workers to lodge their “objections” to the plan, even after they informed him they were there to cover the hearing and not to participate.

Pappa Raidu said the planning officers insisted that they still have further hearings.

“So it will be another session for you to come and do the bantahan (objections) and all this thing, not now,” he was quoted as saying.

According to Malaysiakini, MBSA officials also directed the media to give up their recording equipment and warned residents who tried to record the hearing for the media that these were not to be reported.