No anti-hopping law for Sabah yet

KOTA KINABALU: A clear consensus from the majority of the 79 assemblymen is needed before Sabah can adopt the anti-hopping law, says state minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

He said the GRS-Barisan Nasional government would need a clear two-thirds majority in the state assembly for the law to be passed.

As such, it was unable to put in place the anti-hopping law before the general election, he added.

“Amendments to the Sabah constitution require a two-thirds majority support. We just want to make sure we have the numbers before tabling it,” said Masidi, who is state Local Government and Housing and Finance Minister II.

GRS and Barisan have 47 seats and they need the support of their allies as well as the opposition side to garner a two-thirds majority support.

With six assemblymen from friendly parties supporting them, GRS and Barisan have 53 assemblymen, one short of the 54 needed to reach a two-thirds majority.

Masidi dismissed talk that the delay of the anti-hopping Bill was because the parties wanted to carry out political realignments either before or after the general election.

“No. To my knowledge, that’s never an issue,” he said.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said there were no plans to fast-forward the tabling of the anti-hopping law amid moves by some assemblymen seeking to contest parliamentary seats who might cross over to parties willing to offer them a ticket.

He said the state was keeping to the scheduled tabling of the Sabah anti-hopping enactment during the assembly’s Budget 2023 sitting in late November.

“We hope to table it (anti-hopping enactment) when the state assembly meets in November. It will be after the general election.”

Hajiji said passing of the Bill would need the support of the Opposition.

On the possibility of assemblymen jumping ship during GE15 in the absence of the Bill, he said he does not know of this.

Sabah had incorporated an anti-hopping clause in 1988 under its constitution when Parti Bersatu Sabah ruled the state, but it was repealed by the Barisan-led government in 1995.

With the passing of the anti-hopping law in Parliament earlier this year, the Sabah government said it would also adopt the provisions in the state constitution.

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