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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, July 27: Members of Parliament who win as an independent candidate should not be stopped from joining a party after an election.
This was the view of Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang, who is currently an independent MP, while debating the Anti-Hopping Bill in Parliament today.
“Those who win under independent tickets and need to decide on their political direction should not be hindered by the Anti-Hopping Bill.
“The Bill should not limit or obstruct the freedom of MPs who win under independent tickets to decide whether to join the Opposition or the ruling coalition.
“Independent MPs elected by the people due to their personality should not be punished if they decide to join any party,” said Jugah.
He argued that prohibiting independent MPs joining any party after winning was also against the principle of democracy.
The bill at its present stage allows a party within a coalition to switch allegiance and this to him, will affect the stability of the nation.
“Another other strange thing is that, a candidate of a party may win an election and after that, the MP is expelled by the party and becomes an independent MP, the MP is allowed to join any party. There is no need for him to vacant the seat, this is double standard,” said Jugah.
Jugah also took the opportunity to bring about the issue of granting the same amount of allocation to independent and Opposition MPs.
His argument was that without equal allocation, it will compel independent and Opposition MPs to hop and join the ruling coalition as all elected MPs bear the responsibility to serve their constituents.
“Because of these, the Bill is not complete and not relevant. It will cause MPs to take the step to hop. All MPs including independent MPs should weigh and debate on this matter to ensure that the Bill meets its purpose,” said Jugah. — DayakDaily