KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — The proposed law against party hopping should prohibit elected representatives from contesting in the by-elections triggered by their defections, said Datuk Seri Ahmand Maslan
When debating the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022, the Pontian MP said defectors must be punished for the act by being barred from contesting their seats that would become vacant under the proposed law.
“I suggest that those who jump are not allowed to compete in the by-election. But it seems that what we want to amend is that we will allow those who jumped to compete again.
“In my view, that is not appropriate because we punish those who jump. Therefore, we should not allow them to contest in the election,” the Pontian MP said.
Ahmad also suggested that in addition to being banned from contesting, the defecting MPs should be made to reimburse their former parties for campaign expenses.
“For example, Dewan Rakyat members cannot use more than RM200,000 (when campaigning). So, he has to return the RM200,000 to his party so that they think twice before jumping,” he said.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Langkawi-Pejuang) said the proposed law appeared designed to prevent elected government from collapsing due to defections.
“This means that there is no democracy in our country because those who lose, win, and those who win, lose,” he said
The former prime minister said that had the law existed during the so-called “Sheraton Move” in 2020, he might still be the prime minister
Anthony Loke (Seremban-PH) suggested the law include a provision for elected representatives to lose their seats if they were sacked for clear violations of their parties’ rules, and pledged the full support of DAP’s lawmakers were this to be adopted.
Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (Kinabatangan-BN) suggested the law include a requirement for election pledges to be honoured.
“I believe that no one will refuse this Act. Those who do not support this Act, we must beware. Don’t elect them again, they like to jump,” he said.
Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman (Muar-Muda) said the law was needed to make the political elite accountable.
“We are in a conundrum, where the trust of the people in the political institution, politicians and political leaders are on an all time low.
“The people look at politicians, be it on the government or opposition sides, as people who just take their high salaries, have high positions in GLCs and give big contracts to their family members, while the people suffer with the high living cost.
“What is worse is when the people give their trust to politicians, a special trust that comes only once every five years, and suddenly, due to harassment or intimidation, or because of positions, they are willing to betray the people’s mandate, only to help powermongers do what they please,” he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob tabled the Bill in Dewan Rakyat for the second reading today
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Harun had allocated 600 minutes for debate, with 35 MPs selected to take part.
MPs from BN, PH and Sarawak Parties Coalition (GPS) as well as from PAS, Warisan, PSB, Muda, Pejuang, Parti Bangsa Malaysia and independent MPs are seen debating the debate which started at noon and went on until 8.30pm.
However, no MP from Bersatu was included today.