Recall election proposed to curtail party-hopping


KUCHING: A former chief justice has proposed a recall election to be introduced as a mechanism to prevent elected representatives from jumping from one party to the next.

Tan Sri Richard Malanjum said an election could be held upon the request of constituents who are dissatisfied with their elected representatives during the duration of their term.

“The problem nowadays on party jumping is this – we don’t have the concept of recalling elections; it will be good.

“In other words, if 50 percent of the voters in the constituency are not happy with their representatives changing their party, we can petition for a fresh election to be held.

“If that is allowed, we can have good and responsible elected representatives,” he said in a webinar organised by The Sarawak Initiatives (TSI) today.

Malanjum said elected representatives must have a sense of obligation to the voters and not become untouchable after assuming office.

“We must not allow them to practise George Orwell’s animal farm rule – that some animals are equal but some are more equal than others,” he said.

The veteran Sabahan lawyer said there should be no excuse for party hopping as the leaders are more educated in the modern world.

He added that the freedom of association, which was often cited to justify party-hopping, should not be used.

“When we vote anyone for Party A, we put him or her there to speak for us and not for Party B and this is one thing that is missed by many.

“Doesn’t mean that we have freedom of association, we can move to other parties. You are voted to represent Party A, stay with Party A; don’t move to Party B.

“Otherwise, get out and stand for another election as a candidate for party B, that is how the game should be played,” he said.

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