Former deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker Azalina Othman Said intends to send a motion on a Recall Bill to Parliament.
The Pengerang lawmaker said she was glad that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had discussed with the opposition bloc on introducing an anti-hopping bill but said a Recall Act would be much more effective.
“A Recall Act will allow the people to take back the mandate. The choice to select the people’s representatives should remain with the voters,” she said in a statement posted on her Facebook.
“I hope this motion will be a starting point to introduce the Recall Election in the upcoming Parliament sitting.”
A recall election, which is practised in several Commonwealth countries, happens when an MP who wants to change parties or is sacked will vacate the seat to make way for a by-election.
The notice, she said, will be sent in accordance with Standing order 49(1), which allows for private members bills to be introduced.
Ismail met with Pakatan Harapan’s leaders – Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu – on August 25 to discuss measures to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and the people’s welfare.
Azalina said she also wants to suggest the setting up of a caucus on parliamentary reform and multi-party democracy among lawmakers who are interested.
“This is to further strengthen the parliamentary institution and uphold parliamentary democracy in the country,” he said.
Several days ago, Azalina, had also mooted anti-hopping laws to protect voters and reduce politicking between political parties.
At the time, she had suggested that a lawmaker who switches political parties be subjected to a recall election to allow voters to decide whether or not to keep the lawmaker.
Today, she said a recall election will be much more beneficial to avoid splinters in political parties.
“Political competition should be fine-tuned, not eliminated and be filled with hatred and chaos.”
She once again reiterated that politics and politicians need to be professional in order to gain the respect of the people.
Azalina also thanked electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 for its research on recall elections and for helping the people understand its mechanism.
Earlier in her statement today, Azalina had pointed out that there have been repeated instances of elected lawmakers betraying the parties that had nominated them, as well as those who had worked hard to garner votes for them from door to door, and also voters who had voted for them by trusting them as representatives of political parties and election manifestos.
Azalina said Malaysians were beginning to doubt the purpose of voting if elected people’s representatives could pawn off the public’s mandate after elections.
Azalina said leaders of her generation should accept that competition between political parties is positive and beneficial to the public if based on reasonable rules of the game, and not triggered from political parties splitting up.
She said political competition should be made noble and not eliminated or be filled with hatred or chaos.
She said political leaders of her generation and the younger generation should be brave to work together to make politics a professional career choice that is respected instead of looked at with disdain, noting that the public’s perception towards politicians of today is very shameful.