PETALING JAYA: A nationwide survey has indicated that 50% of Malaysians want an anti-party hopping law. Party-hopping MPs should be disallowed to contest future elections, according to 43% of the respondents.
The survey was conducted by the Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS), which has been working closely with the bipartisan parliamentary caucus on anti-party hopping, led by Datuk Sri Nazri Abdul Aziz (pix).
It have held several public roundtables, consultations with legal firms, consultations with international academic bodies and ran a nationwide survey.
“Since GE14 in 2018, over 40 Dewan Rakyat MPs have changed their party allegiances (around 20% of all MPs),” Cent-GPS said in a statement today.
“At the state level, Johor, Malacca, Kedah and Perak have changed state leadership due to party hopping.
“This means a drastic change in style of governance, change in policy, change in direction and priorities. It has a direct impact on the livelihoods of people on the ground.”
A total of 1,109 respondents across the country participated in the survey, of which 14% were aged 16-20 years old, 57% were 21-30, 11% were 31-40, 9% were 41-50, 6% were 51-60, and 2% were aged 60+.
The survey showed that 46% of Malaysians had lost interest in politics due to party hopping while 18% had not.
In proposing a legal solution, CentGPS has two key considerations. The first is a fear that any law against party hopping may be a ‘slippery slope’ for democracy in Malaysia as it impedes on one’s freedom of association,” it said.
“The other consideration is the economy; changes in party affiliation can change a government, especially now. This means instability, uncertainty and a potential change in national direction. We have already seen how this leads to lower foreign direct investment and overall loss of high skill jobs in Malaysia.”