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LETTER | Anti-hopping laws: What happens when the ship is sinking?

LETTER | Having been a keen observer of national politics over the years, I am one who fully supports the Anti-Hopping Bill which is expected to be tabled in Parliament next week.

I fully support the bill because in most cases we find that our representatives opted to jump to another party merely because the “grass is much greener” there.

However, a point to ponder is what was raised by Parti Bangsa Malaysia candidate for Puteri Wangsa in the Johor state election, Steven Choong recently.

What happens when a representative is sacked by the party, not because of indiscipline but merely because they supported what was right.

For example, Steven Choong said he declared support for the government of the day at that time because he was facing numerous difficulties serving his constituents as the Tebrau MP, following the Sheraton Move.

He also pointed out that because of this, he was sacked from PKR and remained independent before joining PBM recently.

In situations like these where one’s original party decides to sack you because you are no longer in sync with the leadership and one then joins another party, is this tantamount to party hopping?

In Choong's case, he was not offered anything to join PBM but only did so because he was without a party after being sacked.

What if the leadership of the party you joined suddenly loses all focus and the top is only after attaining personal interests and glory?

Would it be considered party hopping if a member, who has a good political career ahead jumps off a sinking ship?

As mentioned above, I support anti-hopping, but there are certainly numerous exceptions to the general rule.

Many parties were initially formed with all kinds of promises made, but as time went by, we realised that certain leaders only have their own political agendas in mind.

The political party becomes nothing more than mere machinery which they can abuse to attain personal gains.

In this case, people in the same boat as Choong have no choice but to leave PKR in order to continue serving the voters who put their trust in them.

Party hopping only becomes wrong when a representative jumps over to another party because the carrot they are dangling is much bigger than the one he has now.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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