Sabah parties eager for stability law will bring

KOTA KINABALU: All Sabah parties and leaders fully support the adoption of the anti-hopping law by the Sabah assembly, but the question remains on when this will be done.

The five party-Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and its state coalition partner Sabah Barisan Nasional have come out in support of the tabling of the anti-hopping enactment for the state.

The Opposition Parti Warisan and Pakatan Harapan have also said that they will fully back amendments to the state Constitution to end party hopping in Sabah.

However, some political parties are feeling restless as the state government has yet to fix a date for the state assembly to convene and adopt the law that was passed in the Dewan Rakyat last month and the Senate on Tuesday.

Warisan president Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal said that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and the state government must adopt the law immediately.

“I do hope that it will be done concurrently with other states,” he said on Tuesday during his “Let’s Talk” programme on Facebook.

Saying that Warisan was a victim of party jumping when his state government fell in July 2020, he said there was no reason to delay further the adoption of the law that all the parties supported at Parliament level.

GRS coalition partner PBS president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili asked for the state enactment to be passed within 60 days, while Sabah Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin wanted the legislation to be in place as soon as possible.

GRS secretary-general Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the GRS supreme council would meet later this month to decide on the adoption of the law but gave little indication on the date that this would be done.

For many in Sabah, party crossovers have led to the rise and fall of state governments over five decades, and such a law was necessary to bring about stability.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah senior lecturer Dr Romzi Ationg said Sabah should not delay the anti-hopping Bill.

“I hope the Sabah government will pass the Bill soon as we are in dire need of it.

“We cannot let the state continuously be affected by political instability due to an integrity deficit among the assemblymen as it may lead to several unnecessary consequences for the state and the people,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Sarawak Attorney-General’s Chambers will study the state constitution’s anti-hopping provision to ensure it is in accordance with the federal anti-hopping law.

Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said although the state constitution contained a clause against party hopping by state assemblymen, it was never enforced.

“Now we just leave it to our state Attorney-General’s Chambers to study the state’s existing provision to see whether there is a need to amend it in line with the recently passed federal provision,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Article 17(7)(a) of the Sarawak state constitution states that an elected representative who has voluntarily given a written undertaking to the Speaker that he will not resign from the political party for which he contested or to which he belonged when he was elected, will lose his seat if he subsequently resigns from that political party.

This provision was passed by the state legislature in 1994 but was not enforced.

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Sabah assembly , anti-hopping , law


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