'Fixed-Term Act may eradicate backdoor maneuvers'

14 Jan 2024 01:00pm
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX by Bernama
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX by Bernama

SHAH ALAM - Amidst persistent rumours of potential party switching and coalition changes, political analyst Professor Wong Chin Huat has proclaimed that the Anti-Hopping Law remains effective in safeguarding government stability.

However, he argued that addressing the "shadowy SD crisis" requires further action, proposing a Fixed-Term Parliament Act.

Ching Huat acknowledged the ongoing speculations about a "Dubai Move" mirroring past political upheavals like the "Perak crisis" fueled by statutory declarations (SDs).

He stressed that while the Anti-Hopping Law has brought stability, concerns persist about individuals circumventing it through SD loopholes.

"The law has limitations," Chin Huat explained, noting that it protects MPs expelled from parties but not those who leave voluntarily.

Additionally, it allows dissenting votes within parties and doesn't penalise coalition departures under different logos.

Despite these limitations, Chin Huat highlighted efforts by Umno, DAP, and Amanah to tighten internal regulations against defection.

These amendments ensure automatic membership loss and by-elections for MPs violating party mandates on alliances or defying voting orders.

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"This means party defections would trigger caretaker governments and by-elections, effectively stalling any illegitimate government change," Chin Huat clarified.

To eradicate the SD issue altogether, Chin Huat advocated for a Fixed-Term Parliament Act.

This act would mandate the Prime Minister to seek Parliament's dissolution only under two conditions: losing a majority or reaching a two-thirds consensus among MPs.

"Losing a majority" would be defined by official votes, excluding SD calculations.

"This ensures all government changes happen openly in Parliament, respecting the people's sovereignty," Chin Huat said.

He urged the Prime Minister to prioritise this legislation and that should be no further delay in dismantling the shadows of SD tactics and safeguarding true Parliamentary democracy.

This news article adapts the opinion piece into a factual tone, quoting Chin Huat directly from Sinar Harian and providing context for his arguments.

It aims to inform readers about the current political situation in Malaysia and the proposed solutions to address concerns about political stability.

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