Undemocratic to fetter elected reps through legislations

Prof Dr Jayum Jawan

KUCHING: The proposed Anti-Party Hopping and Recall Election legislations are against the spirit of democracy and freedom.

Political Scientist Prof Dr Jayum Jawan of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) opined that the proposed legislations would shackle the freedom of elected representatives to articulate how their constituents would be best represented.

“It will change the whole situation, which also requires that MPs at some points after their election, need to adjust to best represent their constituents,” he said.

He pointed out that just because a few MPs were jumping ship, it should not be the reason to legislate laws to fetter the elected representatives.

“The Malay proverb very aptly explain this situation: Jangan kerana nyamuk, kelambu terbakar (Because of one mosquito, the sleeping net is burnt).

“We should not rush to implement this law as MPs, who are also people, change because of some reasons,” he added.

He stated that changing alliances was not a big issue, and elected representatives must be sensible in order to better represent their constituents.

“If a few jump ship, the majority do not need to be punished for the act of the few.

“Secondly, if a representative needs to switch allegiance, he/she can do so with sensible reasons.

“However, whether their action is in the best interest of society or not will be judged, and they will be rewarded or punished accordingly when election time comes.”