Hamzah: Party-hopping is normal, has been done for years

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Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin speaks to reporters during a Hari Raya open house at Pulapol in Kuala Lumpur May 11, 2022. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin speaks to reporters during a Hari Raya open house at Pulapol in Kuala Lumpur May 11, 2022. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Jumping from one party to another is normal, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

He said this has been happening for decades and as long the reasons for switching allegiances isn’t personal, there isn’t an issue to be raised.

Hamzah, who is Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) secretary-general, was responding to Umno’s Datuk Seri Md Alwi Che Ahmad, who said Umno should be open to MPs who want to return to the party.

“For me, what happened three years ago (14th general election) was down to each party’s strategy for the elections and all of it is for the people’s benefit.

“That’s why I never came out with any statement that could implicate anyone (in party-hopping). The main thing is to ensure we have a working and stable government,” Hamzah told reporters when met at the Police Training Centre for a Hari Raya open house today.

Hamzah said having a stable government allows it to function well and pass laws and bills necessary for the public’s benefit.

This was also to ensure the people are not worried about a government that keeps swinging back and forth.

“A politician switching parties has been happening since our first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s time. Even Umno’s president, Tun (Dr Mahathir Mohamad).

“This shows that throughout time, the main agenda has always been the people. Hence if this (party-hopping) were to happen, as long as the intent is righteous, I see no issue with it,” he added.

The issue of MPs switching allegiances has led to the current government only possessing a thin majority.

The anti-party hopping Bill is expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat in the next sitting from July 18 to August 4 following several postponements.

The reason for the postponement being that the government needed more time to deliberate the meaning of the definition of party-hopping.

Meanwhile, on a separate issue, Hamzah said anyone found to be abusing the powers of the police would be punished.

Without referring to the issue directly, Hamzah was answering a question related to Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim’s son driving in Penang escorted by two traffic police officers a few days ago.

Azeez’s son posted an Instagram video showing off his two police escorts as he rode past red lights and heavy traffic.

“Whoever abuses the powers of the force will be investigated. At the moment, we are conducting an internal investigation,” he added.

Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said investigations showed that the escorts had acted on their own accord without instructions from higher-ups.

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