KUCHING, Oct 5: The Anti-Party Hopping Law cannot stop Members of Parliament (MPs) from ‘party hopping’ by getting themselves expelled from their original political parties in large numbers to form a new political party together.
Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan highlighted this in a statement today.
“A close scrutiny of Clause 1 of Article 49A provides that the MP shall cease to be MP and has to vacate his seat if he jumps out or switches allegiance from his own political party to another political party.
“But, an MP could still ‘jump out’ from his party without vacating his seat if he/she is expelled by his or her political party. It is not difficult to be expelled from (their) own party if the MP wants to,” he said.
The formation of a new political party with MPs who intentionally got themselves expelled from their original parties is legally allowed according to the current law, he added.
Voon also asserted that the existing laws do not consider MPs who take money to jump ship as criminal offenders or individuals accepting bribery.
“The law must be clear and must make it a criminal offence for those who receive money or considerations in whatever forms to leave their party.
“The law should make it a criminal offence for those who defect from their party after being elected on the party ticket,” he said in a statement today.
With these loopholes, Voon asserted that the Anti-Party Hopping Law is merely a political gimmick to gain voters’ confidence and is not effective in stopping MPs from leaving the political party they won the seat under. — DayakDaily