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M'sian state plans anti-hopping law

Publication Date : 22-08-2012

 

The government of Malaysian state of Penang is planning to legislate against party-hopping, with an “anti-hopping” Bill to be introduced soon.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the proposed bill would be discussed at the next State Executive Council (exco) meeting.

“We will seek the state legal adviser’s opinion and if the exco members are in agreement, the anti party-hopping bill will be tabled at the November sitting of the State Legislative Assembly,” he added.

Despite the 1993 Supreme Court ruling that the Sabah anti-hopping law was void and in contravention of the Federal Constitution, Lim said the state government wanted to “revisit that decision” by enacting a similar law in Penang.

“This bill, if passed, will prevent "tadpoles and frogs" breeding in Penang. It will stop democratically elected representatives from being bought over and stop them from being in contempt of the people’s decision,” he said.

Lim, who is  Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general, said the proposed bill was in line with the party’s stand on party-hopping.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh had said the party was firmly against party-hopping as it betrayed the people who had elected their MP or assemblyman.

The Bukit Gelugor MP said those elected could not go against the wishes of the people on their own, adding that DAP would not tolerate party-hopping.

Party-hopping is a raging controversy with Beaufort MP Lajim Ukim of Umno and Tuaran MP Wilfred Bumburing of Upko quitting their parties and expressing support for Pakatan Rakyat, a coalition of political parties opposition to the ruling Barisan Nasional at the federal level.

Following this, People's Justice Party leader (PKR) Anwar Ibrahim said the Sabah duo would be given the nod to contest under a Pakatan Rakyat ticket in the general election.

The opposition leader was also reported to have said Pakatan parties PKR, DAP and Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party had accepted Lajim and Bumburing into the coalition’s fold, adding that it had been amicably agreed that the two were free to choose which party they wanted to represent.

 

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