KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — Sabah-based Parti Warisan has demanded the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigate nine elected assemblymen who quit the party earlier this year.
Its vice-president Datuk Jaujan Sambakong told Mingguan Malaysia, the weekend edition of Utusan Malaysia, that there could be elements of corruption behind their decision to leave, especially among those who joined another party later on.
“Why don’t the authorities like MACC carry out their responsibility to investigate them? They may be offered remuneration,” he was quoted as saying in the news report published today.
Nine Sabah assemblymen left Warisan this year so far. Three of them who quit in February and joined the ruling Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) are: Norazlinah Arif (Kunak), Mohammad Mohamarin (Banggi), and Ben Chong Chen Bin (Tanjong Kapor).
Another six who left Warisan for other parties are: Datuk Hassan A. Gani Pg Amir (Sebatik), Datuk Yusof Yacob (Sindumin), Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi (Segama), Datuk Peter Anthony (Melalap), Datuk Juil Nuatim (Limbahau), and Rina Jainal (Kukusan).
Malaysia has enacted a law that seeks to prevent elected lawmakers from switching parties and destabilising the government.
Article 49A of the Federal Constitution (pertaining to MPs) and the Eighth Schedule of the same (pertaining to assemblymen) came into force on October 5 last year, which would see their incumbents lose their seats if they joined another party or became independents after they were elected.
However, there are three exceptions to this rule. One is if the incumbent’s party is dissolved or deregistered, second is if the incumbent is sacked by his party, and lastly if the incumbent quits the party after being elected Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat or his respective state assembly.
Sabah passed a similar anti-party hopping law in May this year, months after incumbent Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor led a group of assemblymen out of Bersatu shortly after GE15 last November and maintained control of the state government under GRS.