Perak, oh PerakPosted: February 6, 2009
Y’know, I was sort of expecting the Sultan of Perak to announce the dissolution of the Dewan Undangan Negeri, and that we would be seeing snap polls in Perak in the very near future.
So I was suprised when I read that the Sultan decided that Barisan Nasional has enough support to form the Perak state government, and this change would take effect immediately.
It’s a little bit of a deja vu kind of feeling for me right now, considering the fact that Anwar had proposed a change in the Federal Government through the same means that Barisan Nasional has acquired the Perak state government. The proposed 916 that never happened.
I wrote THIS about the time 916 was about to happen:
[I]f I had things my way, I would probably require that all the MPs who wish to defect would have to first relinquish their position in Parliament, and get re-elected by the people under a new flag.
This, unfortunately, is not doable. Basically because the law states that any MP who resigns cannot contest as a candidate in the same constituency for the next 5 years.
I take the assumption that the same law applies in state seats. If I’m wrong, please correct me.
I think this law, plus the fact that we don’t have anti-hopping laws, actually encourage this frog-hopping business that we’re seeing in Perak now. This undermines democracy, and it undermines the importance of the mandate that the representatives received from the people through the ballot box.
The proposal of enacting an anti-hopping law is ding-dong-ing between both BN and PR, depending on the situation each side is in. If there are defections from BN to PR, the proposal comes from someone on the BN side, and vice versa.
The legitimacy of defections also depends on who’s defecting to whose side.
If I’m a PR rep, and there are defections from BN into PR, it’s a good thing, because PR is good, and at least someone has finally “seen the light”. But if it’s from PR to BN, that person’s a traitor, a good-for-nothing, and his/her position should be nullified.
Believe it or not, the same kind of thinking occurs in those who represent BN.
That’s why I think it’s interesting to see how the reactions towards this coup d’etat are being formed. Those who supported the proposed 916 are now saying that the defectors should get a fresh mandate from the people. Those who opposed the proposed 916 are now saying that it’s perfectly legitimate to defect.
I still think the law, as it stands, encourages power transfers of this manner. The key word here being “power”. Because it feels to me like our politicians are more interested in getting power, rather than serving the people. Which, incidentally, is what they’re supposed to be doing.