Support anti-hopping law, Armizan tells all Sabah parties

KOTA KINABALU: All political parties in Sabah should not play the “victim or be holier than thou” political card as the Sabah Assembly makes a historic move to table the anti-hopping law today.

Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) deputy secretary-general Armizan Mohd Ali said all parties, including the opposition Parti Warisan and Sabah Barisan Nasional, should participate in supporting the anti-hopping law.

They should avoid playing politics about being victims of party hopping, as every party and politician in Sabah has either risen or fallen through political crossovers.

He hoped that Warisan and Barisan would not make the same mistake as they did in January by not being present to support the historic state Bills to regain Sabah’s rights over control of energy and gas distribution passed in the assembly.

Armizan, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said he hoped that no one attempts to create a political polemic, especially when all the parties concerned have publicly voiced the urgency of passing this Bill in the past.

“At this juncture, no one should pretend to be holy and play the victim card as if they were the only victims of party hopping.

“It is already known that party hopping in Sabah is nothing new, these incidents are, in fact, deeply intertwined with Sabah’s political history.

“These incidents have not been limited to changes in the parties of the assemblymen, but worse yet, they have led to a change in the state government.

“In 2018, the Sabah Barisan-led government of Tan Sri Musa Aman tumbled after the party hopping incident that benefited Warisan as Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal led the newly-formed government,” he said.

He added that in 1994, the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) government under Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan fell to Barisan through defections.

“Many actors in Sabah’s political scene have been involved in or affected by party hopping incidents, either as the assemblyman that hopped parties or as the party that is reaping the benefits from incoming party hoppers, not forgetting the original parties that were victimised,” he said.

He said all concerned parties, especially assemblymen, should and must support the law to prevent the switching of parties among state assemblymen under the State Constitution Amendment Bill 2023.

The anti-hopping Bill is a manifestation of the commitment of all concerned parties to bringing new values and meaning to politics in Sabah, he added.

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