The government may consider implementing laws to enable Malaysians to sack non-functioning or problematic representatives, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
“Through these laws, the people can send a petition to the government to pick a new representative through an election.”
“This is not something extraordinary as it is in effect in several countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand.”
“What they are doing is party-hopping, which is against the Constitution and when they lose their party membership, an election has to be held,” he was quoted as saying by Utusan.
However, he pointed out that some may then ask what about the cost of holding the election. “A democracy can’t be assessed with a price tag as an election must be held. That is why the people need to make the right choice and assessment,” he added.
Meanwhile, Junaidi said the proposal could be considered to be gazetted in Malaysia but the decision to have recall elections had not been finalised.
“We have discussed, there were also briefings with MPs on the issue to allow the people to assess their representatives.”
“If there is a problematic MP or one who does not do his work, they can file a petition for a recall election.”
“We have not done it yet, but if there is a need or the people push for it, we will do it. However, the recall election must have its own Act and cannot be done through a constitutional amendment or amending the Election Commission Act 1957,” he said.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said any elected MP who goes against the Constitution betrays the people’s mandate.
During the debate on the Anti-Party Hopping Law, Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman suggested that a “recall remedy” should be introduced in the Bill.
According to Azalina, this move could have addressed the few weaknesses in the Anti-Party Hopping Law.
“A recall remedy is seen in several countries as a form of insurance. Though an election might be over, the people can decide if their elected representatives stay or leave,” she said.
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