Anti-hopping law should also cover nominated reps, says Warisan

KOTA KINABALU: The six nominated assemblymen in the Sabah assembly should be subject to the newly passed anti-party hopping law as well, says Parti Warisan deputy president Datuk Darell Leiking.

The Moyog assemblyman said nominated assemblymen should not be exempt from the law as they had powers equal to elected assemblymen, including all voting powers.

“They get the same pay, same pension, same allowances and hold their position for five years and can be reappointed in each new term without any limit to the number of terms.

“They should be subject to the anti-party hopping law,” he told reporters after Warisan’s supreme council meeting in Kolombong here yesterday.

Leiking said he disagreed with the reason given by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, that the six were not elected and not tied to any constituency, so the law was not applicable to them.

He added that senators in the Dewan Negara were not subject to the federal anti-hopping law because they did not have the same rights as elected MPs.

“Senators are appointed for a three-year term, renewable for a second term only. They do not have the same benefits of MPs.”

In Sabah’s case, the elected assemblymen form the new government and the six are appointed after the formation of the state government.

“But at any time before the next election, these nominated assemblymen can play the role of forming a government within the five-year term. There is nothing in the law to say that the nominated assemblymen cannot be chief minister,” he added.

Some political analysts suggested that the state clip the powers of nominated assemblymen, so that they cannot participate in votes of confidence for the Chief Minister or amendments to the Constitution if they are to remain immune to the anti-hopping law.

Warisan assemblymen gave the backing to the anti-party hopping law that was passed by all 75 of the 79 assemblymen who were present at the Sabah assembly sitting on Thursday.

Earlier, Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal told reporters that the party would incorporate the anti-hopping provision into its constitution.

He also agreed that nominated assemblymen should be subject to the anti-hopping law.

Under Sabah’s constitution, the Chief Minister is allowed to advise the Governor to appoint six nominated assemblymen who could be from a political party or non-governmental organisation.

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