Monday, August 8, 2022

Significant step towards curbing political frog from jumping

Secara Rawak

KUCHING: The Anti-Hopping Bill that was tabled in Parliament today is a significant step towards curbing the political frog problem plaguing the country, especially since the infamous Sheraton Move.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said this was a result from the memorandum of understanding that was signed between the Prime Minister and Pakatan Harapan MPs, which “one of our demands is for an anti-hopping law to be tabled to restore the people’s faith in the democratic and electoral process.”

“The main consideration for this Bill is to ensure something like the Sheraton Move, which betrays the mandate of the people, does not happen again.

“However the technicalities are complex with multiple scenarios possible,” he said in a statement today.

“One of the scenarios that is often mentioned is that it does not cover MPs who have been sacked by their party.

“This is important to ensure any political party is not too powerful and use this law to control their MPs to vote even if it is against the interest of the people, if not they will be sacked and lose their MP seat.

“This also provides room for conscious voting by the MPs, especially if the party they represent goes against their conscious or interest of people they represent.

“So, an MP in such situation does not lose his seat if he/she goes against a party and gets sacked or even they speak out, especially if a party gets involved in grand corruption such as 1MDB.”

Dr Yii said on top of that, the exemption of MPs from deregistered parties that is not covered under the law was to ensure there was not too much power given to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) under the Home Ministry.

“If not, if the government of the day that intends to prosecute their political rivals, they can through the RoS deregister a political party and all of their MPs will lose their seat. This is against spirit of democracy and justice.

“So as mentioned, the intention of this Bill is to prevent a move such as the Sheraton Move from happening. If we had this law then, the group of MPs lead by Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali could not have betrayed their own party and jumped then, causing the PH government to collapse,” he stressed.

However, he said the Bill, while not perfect, but it was a significant step for the country to restore people’s confidence in the democratic system.

“Once this is tabled, we can review and strengthen it again, but an important step must first be taken now to ensure the people’s mandate will not be betrayed again,” said Dr Yii.

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