MP SPEAKS | On his 72nd birthday today, Dec 19, P Patto would have vehemently condemned the ‘kataks’ who betrayed the electorate, the struggle and worst of all, forsaking the trust and confidence mandated by the rakyat, all for their own political survival or conscience.
I share the statement of my father, P Patto, which was cited by his former political secretary Choo Sing Chye, on what my father would have said in a Malaysia Baru and the troubling trend of political defections.
This comes in light of the latest slew of ‘kataks’ who are deserting what they deem as a sinking ship for their own political survival, including an direct threat a few days ago to our Pakatan Harapan MP for Kota Melaka Khoo Poay Tiong, who openly called for the rejection of the admission of former chief minister of Malacca Rahim Thamby Chik into the fray.
On Jan 3, 1985, 33 years ago, Patto wrote about the great immorality of MPs and state assembly members switching parties just at a drop of a hat for political or monetary gains. It was aptly titled “The dirty and treacherous tactics employed by some to ‘buy’ DAP and other opposition parties’ elected representatives depict the level of political immorality and corruption in the system”.
My father explicitly spoke about the rakyat voting for any candidate, rejecting decisively the Barisan Nasional (BN), to work for the people, and that there would be no betrayal to the movement and to the rakyat.
'Betrayal cannot be condoned'
Patto wrote: “Betrayal by elected representatives who cross the floor when the carrot is held before their eyes cannot be condoned in any parliamentary system which adheres to the principles of parliamentary democracy. The choice by the electorate in any election or by-election must be held in high esteem and not treated as a licence to trade one’s position as an MP or state assembly member for personal gain and glory.
“Such acts of betrayal by individual elected representatives must be brought to an end by way of legislation. And the the best way to put an end to such betrayal of the people’s trust is to introduce legislation whereby an elected representative on a party platform is barred from crossing the floor unless he or she resigns his or her seat and seeks a fresh mandate from the electorate by contesting on the new party’s ticket.
“Such legislation will be a sure way to arrest political immorality and corruption now prevalent in the political arena.”
In today’s political climate, I believe my father would have called for the same - to legislate the jumping of ‘kataks’.
On this day, my father’s words, alongside the words of leaders in the DAP and Pakatan Harapan, including that of the rakyat who voted for a change of regime after a 61-year spell, call out and plead for the people’s representative to have honour, dignity, virtue and courage in respecting the choice of the rakyat which led to this unimaginable win in the Mother of all General Elections, GE14.
The DAP has always been steadfast and unflinching on the morality of its MPs, state assemblypersons and councillors, as well as local grassroots leaders in upholding democracy, justice, accountability, transparency, freedom and good governance.
DAP and will speak without fear or favour against any attempts, connived or plotted, to destabilise Pakatan Harapan in a new Malaysia Baru mandated by the rakyat on May 9, 2018.
Thank you, Papa, for always being a voice of conscience, no matter how dark and grim the circumstances. The legendary voice we all miss so much!
Rest now. Till we meet again, with love from your daughter, Kasthuri Patto.
KASTHURI PATTO is the MP for Batu Kawan and Wanita DAP International Secretary. She also sits on the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Rights and Gender Equality.
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