Sacking your MP: Govt open to introducing recall elections, says Wan Junaidi

PETALING JAYA: The government is willing to consider laws to enable the people to sack non-functioning or problematic representatives, says Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic).

“Through these laws, the people can send a petition to the government to pick a new representative through an election.

“This is not something extraordinary as it is in effect in several countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

“What they are doing is party-hopping, which is against the Constitution and when they lose their party membership, an election has to be held,” Utusan Malaysia quoted him as saying.

“Some people may ask what about the election costs later? A democracy can’t be assessed with a price tag as an election must be held. That is why the people need to make the right choice and assessment.”

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the proposal could be considered to be gazetted in Malaysia.

According to him, any elected MP who goes against the Constitution betrays the people’s mandate.

However, Wan Junaidi said the decision to have recall elections had not been finalised.

“We have discussed, there were also briefings with MPs on the issue to allow the people to assess their representatives.

“If there is a problematic MP or one who does not do his work, they can file a petition for a recall election.

“We have not done it yet, but if there is a need or the people push for it, we will do it. However, the recall election must have its own Act and cannot be done through a constitutional amendment or amending the Election Commission Act 1957,” he said.

It was reported on Friday (July 29) that a recall election which gives room to voters to withdraw their support for their representative needs to be fast-tracked as it completes the Anti-Party Hopping Law, which is seen as having a few weaknesses.

Before this, Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, an advocate of recall elections said it should be implemented if MPs are seen as not functioning according to the needs of the people.

The Constitutional amendment to prevent MPs from hopping was approved with a two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (July 28).