Masidi: Sabah to table anti-party hopping law in March, delay not deliberate

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — The ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government is not purposely dragging its feet in coming up with legislation that effectively bans state lawmakers from switching parties mid-term, its secretary-general Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said.

Responding to criticism about the state government’s delay in tabling the proposal, he said it is expected to be taken up in the state legislature next month, The Star reported today.

“Opinions are not facts,” he was quoted saying, adding that the state Cabinet members “are all supportive” of the Bill.

Masidi, who is also Sabah finance minister, rejected the claims by GRS political rivals that the delay was to entice Opposition assemblymen to switch sides.

Parti Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had claimed that there were attempts to buy over three Sabah assemblymen from his party.

He pointed out that Sabah is due to have its state election in the next two years, and said the anti-party hopping law should be in place before that.

The much-talked about anti-hopping law was enacted at the federal level and came into force last October, ahead of the 15th general election as part of institutional reforms to prevent lawmakers from changing political parties and destabilising the government.

Sabah has already experienced several government leadership changes due to its assemblymen switching sides in the past.

Current Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor who was appointed to his position in the 2020 state election when he was with Bersatu, quit the party last year but strengthened his control of the 79-seat state assembly to 44 after three Sabah assemblymen (Kunak, Tanjung Kapur, Banggi) left Parti Warisan to back him.