Appointed reps won’t guarantee Stability, anti hopping laws not easy to pass – Experts

MELAKA : Establishing political stability is one of the main agendas in the manifestos of Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the Melaka state election.

BN has proposed amending the state constitution to enable five state assemblymen to be appointed from youth groups and non-governmental organisations while PH is seeking to introduce anti-hopping laws. 

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Professor of Politics and International Relations at the Centre for International Studies (SoIS), College of Law, Government and International Studies Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani said both proposals were options for voters to restore stability for the incoming new state government.

“The first is the appointment of the five assemblymen. It has been done in Sabah before, however, it has not been proven that it can stabilise the government.

“Yes, the idea is that when there is a narrow majority win, for example 15 over 13 seats, adding five more assemblymen will make it 20.. but it needs to be known, what is the status of the appointed assemblymen as they are appointed and not elected.

“Secondly, Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) which had a comfortable majority could not stablise the government as eventually, quite a number left. If one or two leave, it is still manageable, but what happens when the numbers are high, it leads to instability… So, hypothetically speaking, this does not guarantee stability. Short-term, maybe,” he said when contacted by Bernama here on Thursday.

As for anti-hopping laws, Mohd Azizuddin said legal technicalities had to be ironed out first before they can be passed.

“Yes, it can be introduced, but would it be in line with the Federal Constitution as electoral matters come under its purview. I foresee problems arising from that, but this is my personal view, there may be other views as well,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Dr Iskandar Hasan Tan Abdullah, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Kelantan, opined that it would be easier for BN to amend the state constitution if it manages to get a majority in the state assembly compared to PH’s aim to introduce anti-hopping law in Parliament as they were not the government currently.

“The situation differs in both cases. To get a two-thirds majority in the state assembly is less problematic because BN, Perikatan Nasional (PN) and PH already know their respective strengths at the state level,” he said.

PN, meanwhile, is expected to unveil its manifesto tomorrow. 

The Melaka state election was called after four state assemblymen withdrew their support for the Chief Minister’s leadership.

The Election Commission has set Nov 20 as polling day with early voting to take place on Nov 16.


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