Anti-hopping law must empower voters to punish or keep MPs - Azalina

·2-min read
Anti-hopping law must empower voters to punish or keep MPs - Azalina
Anti-hopping law must empower voters to punish or keep MPs - Azalina

PARLIAMENT | An anti-hopping law must give voters the power to decide the fate of MPs that have left their party, said Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang).

Describing what is in essence recall elections, Azalina said the voters should decide via referendum, whether or not an MP who has "hopped" should be retained, or whether there should be a by-election.

"The law should give power to the people to decide whether or not to replace the hopper," she said while debating the king's address in the Dewan Rakyat today.

An anti-hopping law is one of the reforms the government has promised in a deal with Pakatan Harapan.

Azalina said the government must take cognisance (of the fact) that a change of allegiance is not always done by choice.

"We have to accept that sometimes hoppers don't hop because they want to, sometimes they are forced to because they have been sacked (from their party)," she said.

Changed allegiances

She added that MPs may be sacked from their party because their party changed allegiances, such as to form a unity government.

Letting the people decide whether an MP should be removed, would also solve a possible problem when an independent MP joins a party, she said.

At the same time, she said that an anti-hopping law should be expedited because "frogs" could jump at any time.

To this end, Azalina said she submitted a private member's bill on the law, which she hoped the government would fast-track and possibly make part of the government's own bill for the law.

Meanwhile, Azalina also reiterated her stance that the attorney-general should not also be a public prosecutor.

Earlier, she harked back to the episode where the government claimed it had revoked emergency ordinances despite not getting royal assent to do so.

She said MPs are bound by the (Federal ) Constitution and must act accordingly.

"We can't do as we wish just because we have power.

"Our power is actually the people's power," she said.

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