Sunday, September 26, 2021

Azalina Othman, not voting as party 'orders' is NOT Party Hopping? Neither is being 'expelled' from your party?

Anti-Party Hopping laws, are about the people and their elected peoples' representatives.

As a matter of principle, elected representatives(MPs/ADUNs) must represent their constituents - but alas, many after elected seem to 'do as they please' or simply follow what their party bosses want.[How can MP/ADUNs that do not stay in communication even get instructions of the people they represent?]

So, we need to be careful about 'ANTI-PARTY HOPPING LAWS' - careful that political parties do not use such laws to further control their MPs/ADUNs freedom of speech, opinion and vote - so much so, many of these peoples' representatives FAIL to act the rakyat's representatives - but end up simply following their party boss orders.

The confusion shows itself in recent comments of Azalina Othman (and possibily other politicians) - AND THE PEOPLE NEED TO FOCUS THAT WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT IS NOT DE-RAILED BY POLITICIANS/PARTIES FOR THEIR OWN ENTEREST.

An automatic disqualification for MP/ADUN when he leaves his political party, and joins another or become an 'Independent' - then there will be a BY-ELECTION, an opportunity for the people to pick the same or another to be their 'wakil rakyat'  [Of course, if the party expels an MP, there will be no automatic disqualification unless the expelled MP goes and join another political party. We do not want to give political parties the power to get rid our 'peoples' rep' simply by expelling him/her - this will also give political parties more power to deny MP/ADUNs their freedom of opinion and/or vote]  


I would address some of the points made in the media.

 "not following the party's instruction and taking an individual stand in any voting called in Parliament" is certainly not 'party hopping', and it certainly should not be a wrong or a crime. MP should be free to vote as he chooses 

On examples of party hopping, Azalina (above) said this includes "not following the party's instruction and taking an individual stand in any voting called in Parliament".

Let's not forget that a Member of Parliament is the peoples' representative, and as such his/her vote must be the vote of the people he/she represents - the constituents. It cannot be as what his/her political party 'INSTRUCTS'.

In the elections, we voted for the candidate(an individual person) not for a political party. If we voted for political party, then it is different. 

In Thailand, the House of Representatives has 500 members, all of which are democratically elected: 375 members were directly elected through single constituency elections, while the other 125 are elected through party-list proportional representation. In this case, the 125 who came in through the party-list proportional representation reasonably have to do as their respective party instructs, but not so for the 375 Parliamentarians that were chosen by the constituents.

Malaysia has no party-list proportional representation, - hence no issue of MPs following party instructions. Of course, MPs can take into consideration party views but that is all.

A de-registration of a political party is definitely not 'party hopping'.  Remember the government of the day can abuse the law to get rid all Opposition MPs by a simple act of de-registration.

The two other examples of party hopping referred to the more common practice of defection or an entire party being de-registered

PARTY HOPPING is about 'AUTOMATIC DISQUALIFICATION', followed by a by-elections to choose again their 'wakil rakyat'. This needed added situations when an MP/ADUN becomes disqualified are:-

- When an MP(stands as a candidate for Party A) leaves the party, and becomes a member of another party, or becomes an Independent MP.

- When a MP who stood as an independent candidate joins a Party

*** However, if a political party EXPELS an MP, and he then becomes an INDEPENDENT MP - this is not 'party hopping'.  But, if the expelled joins another party, then it becomes a disqualification.

Uganda's Constitution has this provision...


                   in Article(83) of their Constitution, where it is stated that ‘…a Member of Parliament may lose his or her seat in any of the following instances—

               - On resignation in writing to the Speaker;

               - If he or she subsequently ceases to qualify to be a Member of Parliament;

               - If he or she is absent from 15 sittings without permission of the Speaker;

               - If he or she is found guilty of violation of the Leadership Code of Conduct;

- If he or she joins another party or leaves the party and decides to remain an Independent member;

- If a member was elected as an independent and joins a party; or

The Malaysian Bar at their recent EGM on 25/9/2021 has adopted a 

Resolution On ‘Party Hoping’, Removal of MPs and Restoration of Peoples’ Rights in determining who their peoples’ representative MPs and ADUNs are at all times.(watch out for upcoming posts, where we will share the contents of this Resolution adopted by the lawyers in Malaysia)

Azalina is not all talk but action, and the fact that she has said that she will be tabling a Private Member's Bill on this matter ought to be complimented. 

Why is the government SLOW in tabling a Bill on Party Hopping >>> Remember, that party hopping has happened in most parties, government and Opposition.

Azalina is also calling for 'Recall Elections', which is good but is different from disqualification by reason of party hopping, that results in a by-election for the people to decide again who exactly do they want to be their MP/ADUN ...Recall Elections will be discussed in a later post > it really is about the right of the people in a constituency to remove their 'wakil rakyat' just like MPs can remove a PM when they lose confidence in the then PM


'Lompat Party'/ Party Hoping Motion to be discussed at Bar EGM


Azalina answers FAQs on anti-hopping law
Published:  Aug 29, 2021 4:12 PM
Updated: 7:13 PM
Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said has cited voting against the party line in Parliament as an example of an action that can be addressed in any new anti-party hopping law.

In a Facebook post, the former deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker responded to frequently asked questions on the proposed law.

On examples of party hopping, Azalina (above) said this includes "not following the party's instruction and taking an individual stand in any voting called in Parliament".

The two other examples of party hopping referred to the more common practice of defection or an entire party being de-registered.

In terms of preventing party hopping, Azalina reiterated suggestions for a recall election to force by-elections in seats where its elected MP had defected to another party.

Alternatively, she said a change of Malaysia's entire electoral system could see voters casting their ballots for political parties, instead of individual candidates running for a seat.

"The party will win a seat based on the overall percentage of votes garnered," she said.

Overall, Azalina argued that an anti-party hopping law will prevent the people's mandate from being sacrificed for individual interest, while at the same time avoid any sudden shock to power balance among political parties.

Azalina, a former law minister under BN's administration, had for many years consistently called for the enactment of an anti-hopping law.

Despite speculations behind her move to resign as deputy speaker, Azalina's name was notably absent from Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's cabinet.

Following the announcement on Friday, Azalina congratulated deputy de facto law minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin on her appointment, along with a reminder to prioritise the enactment of an anti-hopping law.

Mas Ermieyati won her Masjid Tanah parliamentary seat in the 14th general election on a BN ticket but defected to Bersatu shortly after Pakatan Harapan formed the government. - Malaysiakini, 29/8/2021


Azalina to send notice of motion to table Recall Bill

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Azalina Othman Said says she is pleased with the discussions held between the government, the opposition and independent MPs to introduce a law to prevent party hopping.

PETALING JAYA: Former deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker Azalina Othman Said plans to send a notice of motion to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to table a Recall Bill.

In a statement today, the Pengerang MP hoped the motion will be the “starting point” to introduce recall elections during the upcoming Parliamentary sitting.

“In addition, I also intend to propose the establishment of a ‘Caucus on Parliamentary Reform and Multi-Party Democracy’ among interested MPs,” said the former law minister.

"This is to strengthen the institution of Parliament in Malaysia and uphold parliamentary democracy in our country.”

She added that she was “very pleased” with the discussions between the government, the opposition bloc and the independent bloc to introduce a law to prevent party hopping.

Last week, Azalina suggested that one way of preventing elected representatives from defecting to another party is to hold recall elections under the proposed anti-hopping law.

In a frequently asked questions (FAQ) sheet on the proposed law, she said recall elections would allow the people to revoke their mandate given to an elected representative if he or she decides to switch parties.

In today’s statement, Azalina said leaders of her generation should accept the competition between political parties as something that benefits the rakyat if it is based on reasonable “rules of the game” and not meant to trigger splits within parties.

She added that instead of eliminating political competition, it should be fine-tuned so as not to cause hatred or chaos.

“For the progress of the country, the political leaders of my generation and the younger generation must be brave enough to agree on working towards making politics a professional career choice that is respected and revered, not reviled and scorned,” she said.

“The rakyat’s perception of politicians today is very embarrassing, and personally, I am upset with this situation.”- FMT, 1/9/2021

Saturday, September 25, 2021

'Lompat Party'/ Party Hoping Motion to be discussed at Bar EGM


‘Switch party and lose all’ motion for Bar EGM

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The motion says the party under which candidates contest is an important factor for the voters when it comes to choosing their representatives.

PETALING JAYA: A motion at the Malaysian Bar’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Saturday wants elected representatives who leave their parties or coalition after winning to be automatically disqualified and a by-election called instead.

The motion filed by Charles Hector, however, said there should be an exception if the MP or state assemblyman is sacked by the party and chooses to be an independent.

However, he should be disqualified the moment he joins another party which opposed him in the election.

The Election Commission (EC) should call for an election immediately to allow the people in the constituency to choose their new representative. This is to ensure the people’s right and choice will be the ultimate winner.

“It is absurd for elected representatives who have lost the support of their constituents to continue to act as though they still have the peoples’ mandate.

“There shall also be no bar on them from contesting in the by-election in the same constituency as the mandate goes back to the electorate.”

The motion, sighted by FMT, states that the party under which the candidates contest, and their election manifestos are important factors for the voters when it comes to choosing their representatives and notes that Article 48 of the Federal Constitution will have to be amended for this to take effect.

The motion is also urging the Bar Council to do all that is needed to get the government to repeal existing provisions that bar persons from running for elections for five years after they finish serving their prison sentence or a fine upon conviction.

“This is not only unjust but also encourages discrimination against ex‐convicts after they complete their sentences,” it said.

The motion has also urged the Bar Council to propose changes to the Elections Act to empower the EC to investigate and prosecute when it comes to crimes related to elections.- FMT, 23/9/2021

‘Lompat parti, hilang semua’, usul dibawa ke mesyuarat agung luar biasa Majlis Peguam

a person on the machine: Usul yang akan dibawa ke mesyuarat itu menyatakan hanya wakil rakyat yang dipecat partinya sahaja boleh mengekalkan statusnya sebagai wakil rakyat. © Provided by Free Malaysia Today Usul yang akan dibawa ke mesyuarat itu menyatakan hanya wakil rakyat yang dipecat partinya sahaja boleh mengekalkan statusnya sebagai wakil rakyat.

PETALING JAYA: Wakil rakyat yang meninggalkan parti atau pakatan politik yang diwakilinya selepas menang pilihan raya secara automatik hilang kelayakan sebagai wakil rakyat adalah antara usul akan dibentangkan dalam mesyuarat agung luar biasa Majlis Peguam, Sabtu ini.

Bahkan ia tidak terhad kepada perkara itu sahaja, usul berkenaan turut menekankan bahawa Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) perlu mengadakan pilihan raya kecil segera bagi membolehkan rakyat memilih wakil rakyat baharu.

Bagaimanapun, usul itu yang dikemukakan Charles Hector, memberi pengecualian jika Ahli Parlimen atau Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) itu dipecat oleh partinya dan memilih menjadi wakil rakyat bebas.

Namun wakil rakyat berkenaan perlu digugurkan selepas menyertai parti lain yang bertanding melawannya pada pilihan raya.

“SPR perlu mengadakan pilihan raya kecil segera bagi membenarkan rakyat di kawasan terbabit memilih wakil rakyat baharu. Ini perlu dilaksanakan bagi menjamin rakyat menjadi pemenang utama dalam mempertahankan hak mereka untuk memilih.

“Adalah tidak masuk akal wakil rakyat yang dipilih dan hilang sokongan rakyat di kawasannya, namun berterusan mewakili mereka seolah-olah ia masih membawa mandat rakyat kawasannya.

“Mereka juga tidak sepatutnya dilarang bertanding semula dalam pilihan raya kecil di kawasan sama kerana mandat sudah kembali semula kepada pengundi,” katanya.

Usul yang dilihat FMT itu, turut menyatakan calon yang bertanding mewakili partinya, termasuk jika manifesto pilihan raya yang dibuat menjadi faktor utama bagi pengundi untuk mereka memilih wakil rakyat, justeru memerlukan pindaan terhadap Artikel 48 Perlembagaan Persekutuan, untuk dikuatkuasakan.

Usul berkenaan juga mendesak Majlis Peguam melakukan apa-apa sahaja yang perlu bagi memastikan kerajaan meminda peruntukan yang melarang individu daripada terbabit dalam pilihan raya selama lima tahun selepas menamatkan hukuman penjara atau didenda kerana sabit kesalahan di mahkamah.

“Ini bukan sahaja tidak adil, malah menggalakkan diskriminasi terhadap bekas banduan selepas mereka menjalani hukuman,” katanya.

Usul itu juga mendesak Majlis Peguam mencadangkan perubahan dalam Akta Pilihan Raya bagi memperkasa SPR untuk menyiasat dan mendakwa perbuatan yang membabitkan jenayah yang berlaku berhubung pilihan raya. - MSN


Party-hopping and voter rights to be discussed at upcoming Bar Council EGM
Published:  Sep 22, 2021 4:25 PM
Updated: 4:41 
Party-hopping by lawmakers is among nine motions expected to be raised at the Bar Council’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) this Saturday.

The motion entitled 'Motion on party-hopping, removal of MPs and restoration of peoples’ rights in determining who their representative MPs and ADUNS are at all times' dated Sept 16 is proposed by human rights lawyer Charles Hector Fernandez.

When contacted, Bar Council committee members Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, New Sin Yew and Surendra Ananth confirmed this as among the issues to be raised at the upcoming EGM.

According to a copy of the list of agenda and motions for the EGM, the Bar is also set to discuss Fernandez’ other two motions, namely on protecting children’s rights and abolishing gender discrimination in Malaysian laws, as well as abolishing acquittal when the prosecution discontinues court (criminal case) proceedings mid-trial.

Among the other motions to be raised are on increasing the number of elected members in the Bar Council per Section 47(2)(c) of the Legal Profession Act, which is proposed by former Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan and four other lawyers.

The EGM, to be held at 10am, would be conducted virtually from the Bar Council headquarters at Wisma Badan Peguam Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

According to a media invite issued today, the Bar will hold a press conference at 2pm after the EGM.

An anti-hopping law is one of the reforms the government has promised in a deal with Pakatan Harapan signed on Sept 13.

Recently, Pengerang MP and former deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker Azalina Othman Said renewed her long-standing call for an anti-hopping law, citing the example of voting against the party line in Parliament.

During a speech at the Dewan Rakyat two days ago, former prime minister and Langkawi MP Dr Mahathir Mohamad, while acknowledging the need to prevent parliamentarians from “party-hopping”, had cautioned that it is not as simple as outlawing “hopping”.

The Langkawi MP said that parties coming together as a coalition to form a simple majority government after an election should not fall under the ambit of any future anti-hopping law. - Malaysiakini, 22/9/2021