Expedite tabling of anti-hopping laws, says Azalina

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has urged the government to fast track and include her recall election bill as part of the proposed anti-hopping law.

“I request Prime Minister Datuk Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and minister in charge of law Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to give way and fast-track my proposed Bill to be debated and taken over by the government to be merged and became the basis for the anti-hopping laws,” she said when debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday. (Sept 15).

The Pengerang MP said the proposed anti-hopping law must be empowered to decide if MPs who switched parties should be replaced or not.

“I proposed that a referendum be held to allow the rakyat to decide if an elected representative should be replaced or not,” said Azalina.

“It is unfair for a political party which has spent a considerable amount of money during the general election to have an elected representative switching camps later,” she added.

Azalina added that said such laws need to be passed as soon as possible to prevent party-hopping.

“It is mandatory and appropriate to have such laws as soon as possible. This is because ‘frogs’ do not follow any time frame, be it day or night if they intend to leap,” she said.

Azalina submitted a notice to table a Private Member’s Bill titled Sacking of Members of Parliament Bill 2021 on Sept 3.

The government had agreed under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the government and Pakatan Harapan opposition coalition on Monday (Sept 13) to include anti-hopping as part of reforms and intends to table the proposed laws by the first meeting of Dewan Rakyat next year.

Meanwhile, Azalina requested that 44 government backbenchers and 105 opposition MPs be allowed to participate in the reforms under the recently signed MOU.

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