Masing: Anti-hopping laws necessary for political stability

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

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KUCHING, March 8: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing has renewed calls to enact the anti-hopping law for politicians in the country.

The Sarawak deputy chief minister said such a law was required to prevent lawmakers from jumping to a different party to suit their needs.

This especially considering the recent political development in Malaysia that saw the resignation of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin appointed as the eighth prime minister under the Perikatan Nasional-led federal government.

“In order to prevent lawmakers from hopping from one party to another, and creating political instability, as they had done in the last few weeks in Malaysia, the federal constitution must be amended to make it illegal to do so,” he said in a statement.

Masing was commenting on Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin, who suggested for an anti-hopping laws to be tabled in parliament as soon as possible.

He added that state laws in Sarawak, which disallow party hopping, is null and void if the federal constitution is not amended, which stated that “freedom of association” is permitted in Malaysia under Article 10.

He felt that party hopping by Malaysian lawmakers as an embarrassment.

“They (lawmakers) just hop at will, thus giving a perception of horse trading, and money being transferred in the process. ‘Ini kasih malu sahaja’ (this is causing embarrassment) to this profession.

“No wonder politicians, as a profession, is viewed among the lowest (public opinion in terms of integrity) compare to other professions,” he added.

In March 2019, Bung Moktar, who is also Sabah Umno chairman, brought the matter to attention during a debate at the Dewan Rakyat, recommending for such a law to be enacted. — DayakDaily