Bersih backs recall elections, citing ‘Sheraton Move’ and fall of govts

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 is backing a proposal by an MP for recall elections to be held, citing the series of party-hopping that led to two government changes in the past three years.

The electoral reform group said Bersatu’s previous decision to accept defectors from Umno and the subsequent “Sheraton Move”, which led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government, saw the people and voters becoming mere spectators.

They were powerless “to make the elected representatives respect the mandate given to them in the last general election”, Bersih said.

Elected representatives who jumped ship are seen to have no firm stance but as having acted in their own personal or party interests, it said.

“This will erode the people’s trust in the election process and a lower turnout if people continue to be left powerless to make their elected representatives accountable to the voters,” it said in a statement.

Earlier today, former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said said she planned to send a notice of motion to the Dewan Rakyat speaker to table a Recall Bill.

The Pengerang MP hoped the motion would be the “starting point” to introduce recall elections during the upcoming parliamentary sitting.

Azalina said one way of preventing elected representatives from defecting to another party was to hold recall elections under this proposed anti-hopping law.

Recall elections, she said, would allow the people to revoke the mandate given to an elected representative if he or she decides to switch parties.

Bersih went on to call on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to allow for the Bill to be tabled and urged all government and opposition MPs to support it.

It also said that it had over the past two years conducted discussions, research and engaged with various parties to find appropriate policies to deter party-hopping.

(First published by Free Malaysia Today on 1 September 2021: