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Party-hopping must stop immediately

  • PPBM and PH must bear in mind that many people voted for them because they wanted a new government that is progressive, not to witness the birth of Umno 2.0. Sin Chew Daily file photo

Sin Chew Daily

The admission of six former Umno MPs into PPBM has drawn polarized reactions among the people, putting the issue of party-hopping once again in the limelight.

This is a question that Malaysians need to ponder deeply as the country is making advances towards a matured democracy.

PPBM will be able to strengthen itself by opening its doors to former Umno reps. However, there have been opposing voices among the public, and even within the ruling coalition itself, who think party-hopping is an act of betrayal of voters' mandate and must be put to a stop right away.

As PPBM opens its doors wide to former Umno MPs, DAP's MP for Bukit Gelugor Ramkarpal Singh puts it forthright that the move is against the people's will and is absolutely wrong.

Meanwhile, PKR's vice president Chang Lih Kang has accused PPBM chairman Tun Mahathir of going back on his words, and has urged the PH presidential council to make a firm decision to reject BN MPs.

PPBM and Umno are direct opponents in politics. By accepting Umno turncoats, PPBM will become stronger and more powerful at the expense of the rival party.

However, if we were to look at things from a broader perspective, accepting former Umno MPs is generally perceived as an act of betrayal of public interest.

Many of these political frogs have jumped ship because of their own interests, not because of principle.

Given the fact that most Malaysians vote on a party instead of the candidate, defection by an elected rep is not only disloyalty to the original party but also a betrayal of voters' mandate.

More importantly, this will deny the right of the voters to elect a government of their choice.

The collapse of the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Perak ten years ago as a result of defection of a couple of elected reps should serve as a bitter lesson in democracy.

Now that the voters have made their decisions, the elected representatives must perform their duties conscientiously, be they in the government or the opposition.

The position of PH is of particular importance where the party-hopping issue is concerned.

It is contradictory and perplexing that just as PPBM is accepting former Umno MPs into its fold, minister in the PM's department Liew Vui Keong revealed that the government had the intention of legislating a new law to stop party-hopping.

It is learned that PH presidential council will deliberate on this issue, and we hope that they will come up with a wise decision to put party-hopping to a complete stop, so that Malaysia can achieve a matured and healthy democratic culture.

PPBM and PH must bear in mind that many people voted for them because they wanted a new government that is progressive, not to witness the birth of Umno 2.0.

 

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