Dr Mahathir: Don’t count forming political coalition post-elections as ‘party-hopping’

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In Parliament while debating the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech, Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stated that it is important that anti-party hopping laws be detailed on how it interprets party hopping instead of a blanket ban. — Bernama pic
In Parliament while debating the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech, Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stated that it is important that anti-party hopping laws be detailed on how it interprets party hopping instead of a blanket ban. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Establishing a political coalition after an election to subsequently form a ruling government should not be considered as party-hopping, Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

In Parliament while debating the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech, Dr Mahathir stated that it is important that anti-party hopping laws be detailed on how it interprets party hopping instead of a blanket ban.

“This is because when there is an election, sometimes there are no parties that have enough numbers to form the government.

“In such a government, there is a need for other parties to be with the party with the most numbers so that the numbers of parliamentarians in the government exceeded half the numbers in the Dewan Rakyat.

“The alliance between other parties with the biggest party cannot be interpreted as party-hopping if it is done properly, in accordance with the party’s constitutions and the decision was made during party meetings where they decide to be with the biggest party to secure the greatest number of seats to form the government,’’ he said.

He also stated the issue of anti-party hopping law must be studied further to ensure that Parliament can conduct its function without any interruptions.

Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air has styled itself as a “third force” that wishes to be the “kingmaker” on who gets to govern Putrajaya.

Up until now, it has not allied itself with Opposition pact Pakatan Harapan (PH), despite opposing the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

He had led PH to defeat Barisan Nasional after six decades in 2018, only to have his government fall last year following his resignation after losing command of the majority of Dewan Rakyat.

The PN was only formed afterwards, made of former political enemies Umno, PAS, and Dr Mahathir’s old party Bersatu.

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