Sabah to table anti-party hopping law post-GE15

Sabah to table anti-party hopping law post-GE15

New law will only be adopted if opposition supports it, says CM

KOTA KINABALU – Sabah will table its anti-party hopping law following the 15th general election, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor. This comes amid talk that Bersatu colleague and state assistant minister Datuk Wetrom Bahanda could leave his party to join Warisan.

“God willing, we will introduce (the anti-party hopping law) later.

“This also depends on support from the opposition because we need to get a two-thirds majority in the assembly to amend the state constitution,” he told reporters following an appreciation ceremony for Sabah government retirees here today.

When asked about Wetrom, Hajiji said: “At this point of time, I am not sure whether (Wetrom) will switch parties as he has not made an official announcement on the matter.” Wetrom had told reporters he would make his official stand either today or tomorrow.

Hajiji said the state is expected to hold its legislative sitting following the general election towards the end of November. Sabah is one of four states that initially had their own anti-party hopping laws, along with Penang, Sarawak, and Kelantan.

Previously, the four states were unable to implement the legislation as a Supreme Court decision in 1992 ruled that it was against Article 10 of the federal constitution on freedom of association.

Sabah had passed the law in 1988 under the PBS government but it was subsequently repealed in November 1995 after Umno took over Sabah from PBS.

Article 18(2)(d) of the Sabah constitution provides for anti-party hopping, which reads

“…he resigns or is expelled from, or for any reason whatsoever ceases to be a member of, the political party of which he is a member.”

Another provision then, Article 18(2)(e) was inserted, reading:

“…he is expelled by the assembly for conduct unfit for membership of the assembly, for unbecoming behaviour or, in the case of an elected member, for abuse or betrayal of the mandate given to him by the electorate of his constituency.”

Constitution (Amendment) (No. 3) Act 2022 on anti-party hopping will only come into force on a date set by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by notification in the federal gazette. The amendment received royal assent on August 31 and was published in the federal gazette on September 6.

Earlier, Hajiji announced a special annual RM100,000 grant for the Sabah government retirees association. He added that it was one of four new initiatives to look into the welfare of the state government retirees.

The second initiative is a RM150 special cash aid subscribed into their respective i-Saraan account in the Employees Provident Fund. The third initiative is the increase of replacement days from 160 days to 180 days starting next year.

The fourth initiative is the establishment of offices for the retirees in several districts.

– The Vibes, October 18, 2022

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