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Sabah has been looking forward to anti-hop law implementation


29 Sept 2021

By Ilona Andrew and Jacquline Ebit


KOTA KINABALU: Upko President Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau said the people of Sabah have been looking forward to having anti-hopping law implemented in the state for a very long time.


He said hopping has occurred since the beginning of the nation’s politics during the first-ever election in 1957.


“There are elected representatives in Sabah who have hopped and re-contested in the election and won again. There are various factors (to winning an election) such as financial issues, campaigning and other factors.


“When we talk about the two options – anti-hop law and recall elections – I think we should look into the principal behind hopping. The recall election is a voter’s sentence, and the anti-hop is a party’s sentence, I think that is very clear and a choice should be made in terms of these principles,” he said.


He was speaking as one of the panellists in a webinar titled ‘Recall Election vs Anti Hopping Law: Which is Better?’ by Bersih 2.0, recently.


“Are we for the party or are we for the people? … We are the elected representative, ‘the wakil rakyat’. So I think at the end of the day, it is the rakyat that matters,” he added.


Madius also mentioned that the anti-hop law is important since it emphasises democracy and stability.


Meanwhile, Pengarang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said instead of framing recall elections versus anti-hopping law, a hybrid option should be looked into instead.


“I always believe that the relationship between voters and representatives is a contract, the consideration is the service given by the elected representatives.


“When a person jumps, it could be for many reasons such as personal reasons, dismissal from the party, or a coalition government. There must be a mechanism or structure that can evaluate that movement.


“Rather than just move and get punished because you hop for whatever justification, the recall would allow situations whereby you pause for a while and let the voters decide whether you should stay or go,” she asserted.


According to Azalina, her Private Member Bill is the first by the government backbencher that has been accepted in the order paper.


“I think it would be wonderful if the government could look at it into the hybrid premises … But most importantly, my last statement would be this is giving so much power and feedback to the people.


“I’ve also been getting a lot of responses that voters are not interested to go for the general election because they feel that whoever they vote for, in the end, the person may not continue to be representing them from the party that they voted for,” she explained.

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