MCA supports the two Bills, namely the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2021 (RUU Perlembagaan (Pindaan) 2021) and the Regulation of Party Hopping and Political Accountability Bill 2021 (RUU Pengawalan Lompat Parti dan Akauntabiliti Politik 2021) submitted by Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to Parliament earlier this week.
We call for bipartisan support for the Bills, as this is in line with the anti-hopping mechanism enshrined in the MOU for Transformation and Political Stability between the Government and the Opposition.
The Bills YB Azalina submitted share common aspirations, similar procedures and goals to the House of Representatives Recall (HORR) Bill which MCA proposed in September.
Essentially, we want elected representatives to be accountable to their voters at the risk of losing their seats. Society demands a return to decent politics.
In YB Azalina’s proposed Bills, constituents are allowed to recall the elected MP should the latter 1) desert their party; 2) have a lower than 50% attendance in Parliament sittings in six consecutive months; or 3) commit a serious criminal offence.
Elected representatives are expected to serve the constituency, state and nation ahead of themselves.
There should be no more abuse of freedom of association as evinced post GE-14, whereby representatives of various political parties engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations and manoeuvrings.
The enduring pattern of party-hopping or turning Independent after securing victory in general elections on another party’s ticket has become far too common, and has forced two state elections thus far.
The abuse of the democratic process has cost taxpayers heavily. For example, the Election Commission has projected expenditure of RM46mil for the ongoing Melaka polls. The Sabah state election held in September last year cost RM130mil. Such staggering figures could have been better utilised to develop the respective constituencies.
The regular pace of katak (frogs) or party-hopping politics diminishes investor confidence as our nation is viewed as politically, economically and socially unstable.
Simultaneously, voters also become disillusioned with the promise of any societal or national progress.
> CHAN QUIN ER is a lawyer and also MCA central committee member