Home Civil Society Voices Enact new law to block party defections – Patriot

Enact new law to block party defections – Patriot

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Such a law will serve as a check on both sides and lead to more robust parliamentary system, Mohamed Arshad Raji writes.

The Sabah episode of mass ‘party hopping’ by state assembly members midway through the electoral period is a tragedy that has led to the death of the assembly.

It is a hallmark of shame seen from societal norms, ethics and values. This shameful episode is the latest in a long history of our nation’s elected representatives ‘hopping’ from party to party, thus, giving words like frogs and katak disgusting connotations. It is high time for Parliament to enact an anti-‘party hopping’ law.

Whatever the reasons for the so-called Yang Berhormats jumping ship – whether it is the lure of tens of millions or because the federal government has changed, thus risking an investigation of some previous corrupt adventure or both – their dastardly defections have left a bad taste in the mouth.

If the federal government was to change again, will these defectors again jump ship? Will the threat of prosecution or threatened exposure of some embarrassing act do the same? Will defections and switching parties continue after this state election?

An anti-‘party hopping’ act is vital to ensure the integrity of our lawmakers. Such an act will serve as a check on both sides, ruling parties and the opposition. It will help strengthen a two-party parliamentary system.

Elected representatives can then focus on seriously serving the people instead of wasting time brokering, wheeling and dealing, horse trading and offering themselves to the highest bidder in the throne of power.

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Above all, with such an anti-‘hopping’ act, an elected representative cannot become a political prostitute.

Patriot implores Parliament to enact an anti-‘party hopping’ act.

Retired Brigadier-General Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of the National Patriots Association (Patriot)

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