PRESS STATEMENT BY YB CHONG ENG, PENANG STATE EXCO FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND NON ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS ON 29/7/22:
ANTI-HOPPING LAW HELPS TO RESTORE VOTERS’ CONFIDENCE AND END POLITICAL INSTABILITY
First and foremost, I must laud the positive development where the anti-hopping law has finally passed in the Dewan Rakyat which see the end of political instability caused by defections.
This is one of the conditions signed in the memorandum of understanding that the Pakatan Harapan pledges its support to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob where several reforms are to be carried out.
Without the MOU, the passing of anti-hopping law would not be possible.
The anti-hopping law is one of them to prevent a repeat of the infamous Sheraton Move which has led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.
Subsequently, the ruling government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob hang on to power with single-digit majority in the parliament.
The political instability and rampant cross-over see many voters losing confidence with general elections, the democratic process and the politicians as they feel cheated.
Since the Sheraton Move, this anti-hopping law is the most positive development in the country so far, putting an end to political instability caused by crossing-over to other parties.
The passing of anti-hopping law also proves that politicians from both political divide are able to work together for the interest of the nation and the people, despite having to curb the politicians’ freedom of association.
While the Sheraton Move remains as a dark spot in the history of Malaysia, I look forward to see the end of political instability with the passing of anti-hopping law.
Despite the new law is not retrospective whereby politicians who have defected earlier would not be facing the music, this will prevent the repeat of mass defections from now on, a milestone achieved for the nation.
For a long period of time, the anti-hopping law is seen as unnecessary as the law is seen as curbing the member of parliament’s rights to freedom of association. But the right to freedom of association is more important for citizens than members of parliament at this juncture.
The new law will prevent members of parliament from taking the voters for granted and they need to respect voters.
Therefore, I urge voters not to give up at this moment. They should get ready to vote in the coming elections to decide the future of the country.