'Proposal to review by-election requirement not appropriate, avoid electing crony representatives'

21 Sep 2023 10:28pm
Wan Saiful
Wan Saiful

SHAH ALAM - The proposal to review the need to hold a by-election to fill an unexpected vacancy due to the death of an incumbent state assembly member should not be done to prevent the selection of representatives from cronies.

The former information chief of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan said it will open up a lot of space for party leaders who have full power to determine the successor to the position while the people lose the right to vote.

"This could easily become like the Kajang move or the Port Dickson move situation, where a party president promotes or nominates his wife, children, and cronies.

"Without a by-election, the individual involved can force the elected representative from his party to resign. Then replace with anyone; do the people agree with such nepotism?" he said in a post on Facebook on Thursday.

The media reported on Monday that the former Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman, Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, stated that it was time for the government to review the need to hold a by-election.

He also suggested that Article 54 of the Federal Constitution be amended by creating a special provision to help the government save the country's money from spending between RM4 million and RM6 million for each by-election.

Following that, Wan Saiful said that in order to improve Malaysia's democratic system, holistic reforms needed to be done.

He said all parties should identify the best steps to overcome the issue, not only to save money but also to emphasise the people's right to speak first.

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"I would prefer if we empowered the voters and the people, not allowed only a few party leaders to usurp power.

"What exactly do we want to address through this proposal (amendment)? Do we not like electoral democracy or do we want to save costs? Identify the real issue and deal with it," he explained.