Noting limits of anti-hopping law, Umno’s Azalina hopes new federal govt will push through with recall elections

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Pengerang’s Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said is calling on the new government to enact a law that would allow recall elections to be held.

A recall election, also called a recall referendum, recall petition or representative recall, is a procedure that gives voters power to remove an elected official from office through a referendum before that official’s term of office has ended. Recalls can be initiated when sufficient voters sign a petition.

At the moment the newly gazetted Anti-Hopping Act only addresses individual MPs who defect from one party to another, but is silent on political parties that decide to move from one bloc or coalition to another.

“I sincerely hope that the new government will push for the Anti-Hopping Law to include recall elections, thus giving voters the power to decide if any movement, whether individual or en bloc, is legitimate on a case-by-case basis.

“Voters should always be given the right to decide in our democratic system,” she said in a statement.

Azalina, a former law minister, won back the Pengerang seat in yesterday’s tightly contested 15th general elections.

She is one of the few Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders who survived the onslaught from Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional. BN won just 14 per cent of the 219 contested seats.

The Umno leader expressed willingness to cooperate on key legal reforms across partisan lines.

“We now have work to do to serve the people and do the work it takes for stability and continuous improvement in our current legal and executive systems through reforms, developing new laws, amending old laws where need be, and addressing issues that affect each Malaysian through action and not just words,” she said.

“I am looking forward to the work that lies ahead and hope that elected representatives from both sides of the aisle, chosen by the voters, will work together to achieve the common goal of a stable, peaceful and prosperous Malaysia.”