THE proposed House of Representatives Recall Bill will provide a pragmatic solution to pre-empt would-be political frogs, said MCA.
MCA information chief Chan Quin Er said in contrast to the Anti-Party Hopping law, the provisions under the Recall Bill – which the party had advocated since 2021 – entrusts the decision-making power to voters to determine the fate of defecting MPs or state assemblymen.
“In just three weeks four Bersatu MPs – Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid, Labuan MP Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Gua Musang MP Azizi Abdul Naim and Jeli MP Zahari Kechik – have switched sides and declared support for the government,” Chan said in a statement last night (Nov 16).
As the four MPs did not renounce their party membership, they remained as Bersatu party members.
“This neither-here-nor-there status where they are opposition MPs but yet not part of the ruling government reveals that the amendments to the Federal Constitution to reduce party-hopping are watered down,” she added.
“Lacking sincerity, opportunities are rife for elected representatives to switch allegiances without facing any penalties outlined in the amendments.”
According to Chan, the Anti-Party Hopping law have two significant setbacks.
“First, it fails to address the switching of loyalties when a political party leaves or joins a coalition. It is incapable of preventing a second Sheraton Move, where the defection of a political party to join another coalition leads to the collapse of the ruling federal government – a scenario that the law was specifically designed to stop in the first place,” she remarked.
“Secondly, and more relatable to the recent chain of events, if an MP chooses not to resign from his political party, there is no requirement for him to relinquish his seat in Parliament.
“The lack of trust or his disruptive behaviour would coerce his party into expelling him, and he is thus free to join another political party without triggering the Anti-Party Hopping law provisions.”
Under the proposed House of Representatives Recall Bill, Chan said if the number of coters who desire the revocation of an elected representative exceeds the stipulated threshold for a successful petition, the seat would automatically fall vacant, which would then pave way for a by-election.
“This mechanism ensures that the decision-making power remains in the hands of the electorate, providing a more democratic and responsive solution,” she added.
“MPs and state assemblymen are thus held accountable to their voters and would think twice before considering a political leap.” – Nov 17, 2023
Main pic credit: The Star