Gerakan Youth wants elected reps who quit without reason to be punished

SHAH ALAM, Oct 18 — Gerakan Youth today suggested that the Election Commission (EC) penalise elected representatives who give up their seats without a valid reason. 
 

Its chief, Tan Keng Liang, said this would ensure that the democratic system was not abused by individuals or political parties. 

“The EC should also consider banning political parties, whose representatives have deliberately resigned, from contesting in the particular seats for five years.

“Under existing laws, only the elected representative who deliberately resigns is barred from contesting for five years,” he said in his speech at the 27th Gerakan Youth delegates conference here.

Tan said a state assemblyman who quit deliberately must be made to pay a fine of RM100,000 and an MP, RM200,000, unless the resignation was due to illness or inability to discharge his or her duties as an elected representative.

He said elected representatives who quit without a valid reason were disrupting efforts to maintain the well-being of constituents and causing a drain on public funds.  

“RM1.5 million to RM2 million is spent for every by-election. The by-election in Permatang Pauh (2008), Penanti (2009) and Kajang (March 2014) saw almost RM5 million of public funds being spent,” he said. 

Tan said PKR elected representatives had quit without valid reason, and cited the resignation of PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the Permatang Pauh MP in 2008 to make way for PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest the seat. 

Tan also suggested that legislation be formulated to prohibit political parties from using religion as political capital and urged that the matter be considered in the proposal for a National Harmony Act. — Bernama

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