The ethics of by-elections | Newsflash

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 10 Oct 2018

PETALING JAYA: While the Port Dickson by-election is constitutionally legal, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has done himself a “disservice” by using it to pave the way to becoming Prime Minister, say experts.

“Although it’s allowed, it (the PD by-elections) is a breach of trust of the voters, a waste of public funds, and an unnecessary burden on the election commission and on the voters,” said constitutional law professor Shad Saleem Faruqi.

“It’s unethical to subject the entire election process to the personal ambitions of a particular person or to the political designs of a political party or faction,” he said.

Under Malaysia’s existing first-past-the-post election system, by-elections are allowed when a Parliamentary seat is vacated due to death or resignation.

However, things may soon change. The Election Reformation Committee is considering switching to another election system, said Bersih executive director Yap Swee Seng.
“Under our existing system, there’s nothing much we can do. If we want to cut out by-elections, we need to look at other systems like the proportional representation system,” he said.

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