Saturday, 14 February 2009

The Right to Hop and Hope - Reply to Hakim Joe.

"Once he is elected, his sole decision to defect cannot be prevented from happening. There are no laws against this treachery and no laws protecting the voters’ mandate. .....
One can call them traitors, turncoats or running dogs but it absolutely alters nothing.............
The requirement for anti-hopping laws must be introduced to stop this current trend of elected representatives changing political parties in the middle of their tenure, once and for all.....
This way, the constitutional rights of the people will be safeguarded through the convening of a by-election to determine whether a new mandate by the constituents is required."

-"Hakim Joe", Anti-Frogging Laws, Malaysia Today

The following was my response:-
While I agree that the act of hopping, with the sole decider being the MP/MLA is unethical,I somehow do not agree with an anti-hopping law.
Although I may disagree with the manner of hopping, it is a right guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. Taking away this right & freedom of association means - one more right surrendered out of a sense of insecurity, and one less right that we the electorate have as citizens.

The problem here does not appear to be actually the act of hopping, but rather the premise upon which such an act is carried out (i.e. the means, reason and manner employed in hopping).

Hopping is rightfully legal in the sense that it permits the representative of the people to express dissent against the party policies. This avenue of expression needs to remain open for the people to convey their message to the leadership.

However, the act of hopping should not be carried out indiscriminately, without the rep having legitimately having something to say that he still has the mandate of the people.

Instead of an anti hopping law which may deprive the electorate of this option, I would opt for certain criteria be fulfilled, and a certain procedure be adopted (which could include a window period), so as to prevent this right and freedom from being taken away.

In short, the problem is the abuse of this freedom/ right - not the right per se.
So, let us not bedevil this right and throw it away - we should instead take away the personal prerogative of the politician who currently has the right to make decisions in his individual capacity.


**Cruzeiro believes that we shouldn't "cut off the nose to spite the face".
Let us check the abuse of this Constitutional freedom of association
perpetrated by selfish,
uncultured and uncivilized politicians,
instead of giving up this right.