Julau MP: Borneon States supported 19 independent MPs since Merdeka, make exception for us

Sng debating on the Anti-Hopping Bill in Parliament today (July 27, 2022).

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, July 27: Julau MP Larry Sng has called on Parliament to amend the Anti-Hopping Bill to make an exception for independent MPs by allowing them to join any political party at the time they deem fit.

The reasons being that there are several voting behaviours in Malaysia’s political arena where in Sabah and Sarawak, independent MPs do have their place.

He said some voters showed their support for a political party as they identified with the party’s ideology. Some voted for a party because they felt that the party was able to provide the service package they wanted.

There were also voters supporting independent candidates due to their personality and their exemplary services while others voted them due to their track records and outstanding performance of the independent candidates.

“I have already checked the record. In Malaysian history, since independence until today, there were 20 MPs who won as independent candidates.

“I can also inform MPs in this chamber that 19 of them were from Sabah and Sarawak.

“There was only one, Batu MP, who was from Peninsular Malaysia. He was the only in the whole of our history who had won under am independent ticket,” said Sng while debating on the Anti-Hopping Bill tabled today.

He explained further that the Batu MP was not exactly an independent candidate as the latter was endorsed by the party he belonged to now, even before the polling date.

“But we can see this phenomenon (of support independent candidates) exists in Sabah and Sarawak because people in Sabah and Sarawak are different from those from Peninsular Malaysia.

“We must respect the culture. We must respect the political reality. We have to consider all these factors,” he said.

Expressing disappointment that there was no independent MP being appointed to sit in the Anti-Hopping Bill Select Committee, he said he did try to be part of it but was not accepted.

He claimed that the Bill has been drawn for “political convenience” for both ruling and opposition blocs and “to disadvantage independent MPs”.

“I can see the political reality to why this is happening. But I hope the minister will give due consideration into this matter,” he said.

He pointed out an inconsistency and an illogical point that if a candidate wins under a party ticket but is later expelled, the MP can join any party. But if an independent elected MP were to join a political party, he has to vacate the seat.

“We must maintain consistency. They are both independents (MPs expelled by party and the independent MPs) and the same rule must apply to them where both must vacate their seats if they decide to join a party. Otherwise, both may retain their seats should they decide to join a party. This is my view,” said Sng. — DayakDaily