KUALA LUMPUR: The amendment to the Federal Constitution to create a provision prohibiting Dewan Rakyat members from changing parties, or going from one party to another, which was adopted on Thursday July 28, has been described as a great victory for the people, thereby guaranteeing political and economic stability.
Professor Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, a professor at the Center for International Studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), said the historic decision, which was backed by a majority of MPs, was very important for the people in ensuring that that every vote given to him is not betrayed after the election.
According to him, the amendment also means that the people no longer have to be victimized and impacted, directly or indirectly, due to the actions of “political frogs” that lead to political instability.
“We were faced with a situation where the government and the Prime Minister changed in a short time. It’s something we’ve never experienced before, (caused by) among other things, partying.
“It created political and economic instability. This amendment is very important before the 15th general election (GE15). Now we just have to wait for the process to be published as law, and hopefully we can implement it by January next year,” he told Bernama.
By block vote, 209 of the 220 MPs voted in favor of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022, while 11 others were absent.
Among other things, according to the amendment, if an MP leaves a political party of a coalition and joins another political party of the same party or a different coalition party, the individual concerned will cease to be a member of the Dewan Rakyat and will have to release the seat.
In addition, MPs who are not members of any political party and who form a coalition of political parties are also considered to have changed parties if they leave the coalition.
Furthermore, Mohd Azizuddin said the new arrangement is expected to create a more mature political environment in Malaysia, as well as address the issue of monetary policy, which is often associated with party skipping when elected officials prioritize their personal interests.
According to him, when the amendment is released later, it will not be easily changed as it will require the support of two-thirds of the members of Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.
Meanwhile, Professor of Political Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof. Sivamurugan Pandian believes that amendment is the first phase to enrich the democratic process and to a better political structure.
He said that to complete the “recipe”, the focus must now be on making similar amendments at the state level, to ensure the issue applies to members of the Legislative Assembly of the state (assemblymen) and then on the enactment of a political finance law as soon as possible.
“It can restore the people’s faith in elected officials, who were previously willing to give up on their principles, and we can all move forward through this amendment.” It depends a lot on the implementation, and after that we can look at improvements,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sivamurugan said the constitutional amendment is a legacy of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government, due to the political determination towards political transformation efforts, as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding on the transformation and political stability between the federal government and Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“For people who are tired of ‘doing politics’, (they) can now breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.Bernama