Now, the defacto law minister, Nazri Aziz, is getting more ridiculous. Nazri, please do not get carried away. You missed the important point again. Let me put it to you in straight talk's term - by-elections are part of the democratic process.
There is already a provision which states that a seat vacated less than half the full-term of five years will have to be filled through a by-election. Penanti by-election has to be conducted. It has to go on regardless of what PM Najib or the EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar have said about the need to deter 'unnecessary' by-elections. I have just asked are Malaysians law abiding? Nazri should be the first to show that he is law abiding.
Dr Mahathir's son, Mukhriz, has asked for those who quit without a valid reason to be fined.
These politicians have obviously got carried away. How do you define 'unnecessary'? Similarly, how to decide if a reason is 'valid' or not? Is a committee going to be set up to decide on the validity of all by-elections? Who are going to be in the committee? Is the committee willing to accommodate both members from PR and BN?
My real problem with Penanti is accountability and transparency. Political parties should not be allowed to hide the real reason of any sudden resignation without making a proper disclosure to the public. Do not treat the voters as ignorant and naive. Politicians who claimed that the society is not ready for change should adopt and embrace change themselves OR risk being left out. We are moving ahead of you. Remember your own slogan, "People ARE the Bosses".
At the end of the day, it is still the right of the elected representative to remain or resign. There is already a punishment - being barred from contesting again for the next 5 years.
There are two implications to PR in Penanti. Remember, politics is about perception. Without coming clear and clean on the real reason, they are going to dig deep into their goodwill. PR state government should have learned the lesson of Gerakan. The party had been digging into its goodwill since 1990 and eventually lost power totally after the reservoir of goodwill dried up.
Second, the coalition needs to improve its candidate selection process and training programme for first-time elected members.
The parties need to SELECT the right candidates or be punished by the voters. NOT changing the law, BE accountable and responsible.