By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, March 8: Although there is no anti-hopping law in the country to prevent party hopping, the dignity of elected representatives who switched camp is unethical and immoral as it betrayed the mandate given by the voters, opined political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi.
Thus, he said, it was indeed a wise move by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, to discuss party hopping issue among its four component parties following the move by former Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) vice president Datuk Masir Kujat to join Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).
“The chief minister’s move is a wise and proactive step in order to address this current ‘storm in the teacup’, which could turn into a political tsunami that can affect GPS’ position in facing the next state election.
“If this issue is not resolved wisely, a three-cornered clash will occur between GPS, PSB and PH. And if this is the case, it will hurt GPS more as it would benefit PH, especially PKR,” Awang Azman told DayakDaily here today.
Awang Azman pointed out that the step taken by Abang Johari was to ensure that GPS’ stability is maintained and to ensure that the party-hopping issue would not affect GPS’ position.
“So far, there has been no anti-hopping law in the country. But the political ethics have been affected because elected representatives were chosen based on their previous party logo, resources and the support of the party members.
“In fact, cabinet posts, political secretaries, counsellors and so forth, are the quota given as a result to the original party,” he said.
When asked whether should Malaysia enact an anti-hopping law, Awang Azman said such law would impede democratic freedom of association and the individuals’ rights.
“But if such elected representatives were to seek re-election in future, the voters can punish them as they have betrayed their trust with their personal ulterior motives that lead them to abandon their supporters in the first place,” he stressed.
Awang Azman also warned that those who have jumped ship would face the wrath of netizens who are vocal in the cyber world.
“This is a reality and those who have betrayed both their parties and supporters will earn the wrath of netizens,” he said.
Meanwhile, PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing insisted that the departure of Masir from PRS to join PSB was not PRS’ crisis but that of GPS.
“Crisis in PRS? The crisis is in GPS for its failure to punish those who kacau (disturb) GPS political partners,” he asserted. — DayakDaily