By Cellini Basri, Head of External Relations of Bait Al Amanah
The lack of urgency by the Government to implement the anti-party hopping bill is deeply concerning.
Since 2020, Malaysian politics, has been unstable, volatile and the continuation of this worrying state possess a grave threat to our democracy.
The switching of political allegiances by voted representatives has significantly contributed to the political turmoil and Malaysia can no longer afford another collapse of the Federal government.
With the economic decline and increasing incidence of climate change affecting millions of Malaysians, the need for stability is at an all-time high.
It is no surprise that the enactment of the anti-hopping law became a major component in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Government and Opposition for bipartisan cooperation last September.
Unfortunately, we have yet to hear words from the Government that signifies serious commitment in implementing anti-party hopping laws. This should have been the Government’s highest priority.
There are no justifiable delays for the tabling of the bill. Especially when the general election is inching closer. Judging from the voter turnout for the past few state elections, we can see that trust in Malaysian democracy is at a decline.
This makes the presence of anti-party hopping legislation before the next General Election even more pertinent in restoring the Rakyat’s confidence in the democratic process.
It should also be noted that what is at stake here is not just the implementation of anti-party hopping legislation but also the MoU. The little amount of stability we have now could fall apart at the seams if this document is not honoured by the signatories.
Democracy is more than just holding elections, and this understanding that should be present among political leaders. Government must table the bill immediately.