MPs flip-flop on improved polling — A. Kadir Jasin
MAY 11 — It appears that flip-flopping is becoming commonplace in our country.
The most recent case being by members of the Dewan Rakyat. These are people we elected to represent our interest.
Soon after the government “flipped-flopped” on the nine-month-old MAS-AirAsia share swap by terminating it on May 5, our MPs from the government and opposition flipped-flopped on the Election Offences Amendment Bill.
They passed the Bill last month and withdrew it a few days ago.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Nazri Aziz told the Press that the Bill was withdrawn following resistance from lawmakers on both sides of the Dewan.
“There were three amendments to the Bill when put to the Dewan Rakyat for debate and two more when presented at the Dewan Negara.
“Since there was a lot of resistance, the government decided to abort the Bill after consultation with the opposition and Election Commission,” he was quoted as saying.
The Star newspaper quoted Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang, who spoke on behalf of Pakatan Rakyat, as saying that the decision was agreed upon by all parties concerned.
However, he noted that the EC should hold public engagement and consultations with relevant parties before proposing amendments to the government to avoid a similar situation.
Coming so soon after the Bersih 3.0 demonstration demanding clean elections, the action by the MPs is puzzling because the amendments they passed and later withdrew “were proposed to streamline and further improve the polling process.”
According to media report, one amendment was the removal of the mandatory requirement for the appointment of a polling or counting agent by a candidate’s election agent.
Another amendment was not to allow any political party office less than 100m from the polling centre compared to the present 50m ruling.
Does this mean the MPs from both the BN and PR do not want improvements to the polling process as demanded by Bersih in its eight-point demand or they did not read the Bill properly before approving it?
If the PR members of Dewan Rakyat are not in favour of improving the polling process why did they showed up the Bersih 3.0 demonstration? Were they there to gain political mileage?
I could be wrong, but aside of Mohamed Nazri and Lim Kit Siang, other Yang Berhormats are silent on the flip-flop.
Incidentally, both the traditional and new media did not give much attention to the about-turn by the MPs. Could this be due to their partisanism or they did not realise the implications of the flip-flop? — kadirjasin.blogspot.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.