KOTA KINABALU ,Mar 10– Almost all political parties in Sabah are guilty of committing the crime of accepting turncoats if party-hopping is an offence, said a political analyst.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s Lee Kuok Tiung told The Vibes that the Malaysian political culture makes it difficult for any lawmaker to stay loyal to a party.
Opposition lawmakers, added the senior lecturer, face situations where they have to switch sides to allow development funds to flow through their constituency.
Lee went on to call out Pakatan Harapan for its hypocrisy, saying that PKR was very silent when Julau MP Larry Sng joined the party.
Sng won the federal seat by contesting as an independent first before joining Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s party later.
“Ruling parties usually will not give allocations to the opposition. It happens regularly, including during the PH rule.
“Such a culture of not giving allocations to the lawmakers must change.”
Allocations can still reach opposition-held constituencies, but the money is not given to the respective lawmakers. Instead, it is handed to a parliamentary coordinator or local district office.
Lee said a party-hopping law runs counter to Article 10 (2)(c) of the federal constitution and, thus, cannot be formulated.
He added that matters related to defections and party-jumping boil down to integrity, accountability and transparency.
“Some leaders just can’t accept their leadership being questioned, and often, assemblymen become victims of political attacks.
“The matter of party-hopping is not limited to Sabah alone; the whole country is experiencing this phenomenon.
“If an assemblyman jumps to one party, that party will be very silent about accepting defectors.
“On the contrary, the party that lost their rep will start bashing the defector, accusing them of many things, including of being corrupt.”