By Ling Hui
KUCHING, April 1: Elected independent representatives should be exempted from the Anti-Party Hopping Law if the Bill is passed, says Julau MP Larry Sng.
He said an independent representative who wins a seat on his or her own merits should be given the freedom of association with any political party of their choice, and their joining of any party should not be considered as party hopping.
He thus viewed the Anti-Party Hopping Bill, which if passed, will not allow an independent representative to join any political party after winning, to be controversial.
“It should be noted that independents who won on their own ticket have never in history of this country triggered the collapse of an elected government.
“Only those who have defected from their parties after having won the election, are the real cause of concern,” he said.
Another downside of the Bill, Sng pointed out, is further concentration of power in a political party in the hands of the president.
“The president can decide to sack his rivals in the party and force a by-election if they are elected.
“This is undemocratic and though it can be debated as to whether there are sufficient checks in place to ensure that any sacking is conducted properly, the reality is, party disciplinary actions are largely left unsupervised,” he said on his social media page yesterday (March 31).
Sng believed that there was no doubt that the Anti-Party Hopping Bill would be passed on April 11 in Parliament.
Meanwhile, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, there are three main criteria that define party hopping by a Member of Parliament (MP).
The first criterion is when an MP leaves the political party he or she contested for in an election, left the party to be an independent MP or join another political party.
The second is when an MP is expelled or sacked from the political party he or she represented.
The third criterion applies to independent MPs who announce to join a political party after being elected. — Dayakdaily