Deputy minister: Tabling anti-party hopping law at State-level needs careful review, cannot rush within 60 days

Abdullah speaks at the press conference held at Grand Margherita Hotel in Kuching today (July 29, 2022). Photo: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, July 29: Sarawak needs to conduct a comprehensive review on the tabling of the anti-party hopping law in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) rather than rushing to do it within 60 days, says Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Corporate Affairs and Ukas) Datuk Abdullah Saidol.

He was responding in disapproval of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili’s recent suggestion for Sabah and Sarawak to quickly table the anti-party hopping law at the State level within 60 days.

“While we support the provision of anti-party hopping to be adopted in Sarawak, I disagree with the Minister’s (Maximus) suggestion that Sarawak must quickly amend the State law to be in accordance with the amendment at the federal level within 60 days.

“There is no provision that requires Sarawak to amend the legislation within 60 days, and I also believe that Sarawak still needs to study the law amendment in detail as well as (going through) Cabinet approval.

“If our leaders have made a final decision in all aspects of the necessary amendments, perhaps we can table this matter in the DUN sitting, which may be held in November,” he said at a press conference at Grand Margherita Hotel today.

Abdullah, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Supreme Council working committee member, said whatever the decision that follows at the State-level, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government will ensure that the interests and rights of Sarawak as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be safeguarded and protected.

At the same time, Abdullah congratulated Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on the passing of the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill (No 3) 2022 on Provisions Preventing Members of Parliament from Switching Parties or commonly called as ‘anti-party hopping bill’ in Parliament yesterday (July 28).

He commented that a candidate contesting in the general election to become an MP represents the people’s voices and the party’s principles and struggles.

“But after winning (the Seat), the representative suddenly changed his stance just to save his own political career; that is a dishonourable act because he cheated the people who voted for him.

“The position of such person should be suspected because he tarnishes the mandate and trust given by the people,” he added.

He also said the ‘frog-leaping’ tradition could pollute a nation’s democracy and causes political instability, and affect foreign investors’ confidence. — DayakDaily