Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s politicians say while they welcome a proposal for recall elections, the state’s anti-hopping law is good enough to prevent elected representatives from jumping ship.
This follows a statement by former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said that she will submit a notice of motion to Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun to table a Recall Bill, by which MPs will be held accountable for party hopping.
The politicians say while the proposal is good to ensure stability in the long run, Penang already has an anti-hopping law.
Penang PKR deputy chief Sim Tze Tzin said recall elections could be “messy” and a “logistical nightmare”. He said they would cause political uncertainty for a long period of time.
“Recall elections involve too much manpower to do signature campaigns, it takes too much time. It also distracts legislators from governing,” the Bayan Baru MP told reporters.
“Even in the most advanced countries, recall elections have created more problems. But the reality is in our country, we are not ready yet.”
He said the state’s anti-hopping law already served as a deterrent for elected representatives not to cross over to other parties as it would cause their seats to be vacated.
PKR assemblyman Lee Khai Loon also felt that the state’s anti-hopping law would suffice.
Where there was no such law, he said, recall elections were crucial for democracy and would allow voters to hold their MPs or assemblymen to account.
State executive councillor Zairil Khir Johari said while recall elections were a good idea, “the anti-hopping law is already there”.
“There are more concerns of instability if party hopping isn’t curbed,” he said.
Perak assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng said recall elections law at the state level could solve the issue of non-performing elected representatives or those jumping to new parties mid-way through their term.
“However, it must be stipulated clearly in the proposed law the criteria and the circumstances which trigger a recall election,” the independent said.
Perak’s opposition leader, Abdul Aziz Bari, said while crossing the floor or changing allegiance to another party was allowed in the Westminster parliamentary system, recall elections would be a good avenue for voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representative.
The DAP leader said that with the advancement of technology, referendums to re-elect the representative or to pick another could be carried out online.
In her recent announcement, Azalina said one way of preventing elected representatives from defecting to another party was to hold recall elections under the proposed anti-hopping law.
The Pengerang MP said recall elections would allow voters to revoke their mandate given to an elected representative if he or she decided to switch parties.
She said polling could be held in the affected area for the people to choose a new representative, if they want.
Former MP Shahrir Samad had supported Azalina’s call, saying that state assemblies could come up with recall election laws.
He said this would allow voters to fire their legislators and to also let them know that the seat was not theirs in perpetuity or one that was used for horse-trading.
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