Azalina S Push For Recall Election Bill Finds Support From Ti M
Pengerang MP Azalina Othman’s Said’s bid to table a Recall Elections Bill has the backing of Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M).
TI-M president Muhammad Mohan said that such a law can help address the issue of party hopping.
“The proposed bill can serve as an anti-party hopping law, which has long been advocated by experts and civil society organisations such as Bersih 2.0,
“For us in Malaysia, it seems that anti-party hopping laws are necessary to put the power back into the hands of the people by withdrawing their support for their chosen representatives who change allegiance.
“This will ensure promised reforms are carried out and justice and functional public administration will rule the day,” Muhammad said.
Azalina yesterday revealed she planned to submit a motion to table a private member’s bill on recall elections in the upcoming Parliament session on Sept 13.
“I hope this motion will be the starting point to introduce recall elections during September’s Parliament sitting,” she said.
Azalina said while she was pleased by the meeting between Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the opposition on, among others, the possible introduction of an anti-hopping law, she believed that recall elections was the best option.
“Many people have asked: What is the meaning of voting if elected representatives can pawn their mandate after an election?” she said.
A recall election, she said, will allow the people to withdraw that mandate if they are unhappy with the conduct of their elected representative.
Party hopping, which has destabilised politics in the country, has generated debate on whether a law was needed to curb such activities.
Political defections had, among others, contributed to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration and also several state governments.
The recall election proposal is seen as an alternative to the conventional party-hopping law which tries to automatically strip an elected representative of their position if they were to defect.
Such an anti-hopping law had been previously declared unconstitutional and violated the freedom of association.
In 1992, the PAS-led Kelantan government enforced an anti-party hopping law which it had enacted against assemblypersons Nordin Salleh and Wan Najib Wan Mohamed after they defected, triggering by-elections.
The duo, who lost in the by-elections, later challenged the anti-hopping law in the Federal Court which declared it unconstitutional.
Both were later reinstated as elected representatives even though they lost the by-elections.
Azalina also recommended the creation of a “Parliamentary Reform and Multiparty Democracy Caucus” among interested MPs.
“This is to strengthen the institution of Parliament and parliamentary democracy in our country,” she said. - Mkini
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