Monday, March 24, 2008

Call for 'anti-hopping' Act

March 24, 2008

MALAYSIA is considering making it illegal for lawmakers to switch sides amid reports that the opposition is trying to get ruling party members to defect.

'To me, these (defectors) have no integrity, and I hope the government can formulate a special law,' said newly named Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim.

'It's high time that we had the 'anti-hopping' law to stop such acts.'

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition received its worst-ever election results on March 8, and opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim said BN lawmakers from Sabah and Sarawak had contacted him to discuss switching sides.

The power bloc there could unseat the government if it changed hands.

There were rumours that Sarawak's Richard Riot would be the first lawmaker to defect. But he has denied the report.

Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat of the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) supports Datuk Zaid's proposal. Politicians who defect 'are not humans if they can be bought and sold like commodities', he said.

Democratic Action Party chairman Karpal Singh said his party would also support an 'anti-hopping' law.


[Comment: But didn't Gerakan start out as an opposition, beating the MCA in Penang, and then was invited to join BN?]

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