Friday 24 August 2012

Nazri rubbishes Penang's 'anti-hopping' law proposal

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz has slammed the Penang government's proposal to enact an 'anti-hopping’ law, saying it goes against the principle of freedom of association guaranteed by the federal constitution.

NONEMembers of Parliament, Nazri said, must be giventhe freedom to associate themselves with any party.

"So, until and unless we amend the constitution, I don't see this ‘anti-hopping’ bill making any progress. The same matter had been decided before in Sabah.

"This is what I don't understand about the DAP. You have MPs talking about freedom and human rights guaranteed by the constitution.

"At the same time, they want to do things which are opposite of what was guaranteed," he is quoted as saying by English daily News Strait Times today.

The de facto law minister said BN is "clever and smart" because the ruling coalition does not accept defected elected representatives from the opposition into its component parties.

"Unlike them, BN is clever and smart. You have got people from their side dumping them. We don't accept them in our party (during this term).

"If you are a party with principles, you won't take members from other parties. You should respect the decision made by the people. In our case, we don't take them. They can remain independent.

"But this motley crew of MPs and politicians in Pakatan Rakyat don't know what they are doing. 

They are in a bad shape," he said.

Defectors did not join BN

All the elected representatives who left Pakatan since the last general election, including the three Perak assemblypersons who helped BN to recapture the state government in 2009, did not join ruling coalition but declared themselves as pro-BN independent representatives.

Last month, two MPs from Sabah BN -  Lajim Ukim of Beaufort and Wilfred Bumburing of Tuaran – quit their parties and formed new political groups that support Pakatan.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had on Tuesday announcedthat the Penang assembly, in its November sitting, intends to enact a law to prevent state assemblypersons from defecting mid-term.

Many criticised the move as a publicity stunt as the Supreme Court had ruled such a law as unconstitutional in 1992 but DAP chairperson Karpal Singh claimed that the state government can take the matter right up to the Federal Court to review previous court decisions.

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