Anwar Anti Hopping Law A Good Start But Lacks Bite
PARLIAMENT | The bill to discourage MPs from switching parties is a good start but does not address the enticement of MPs with money and positions, said opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (Pakatan Harapan-Port Dickson).
While debating the Constitutional (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 2022 today, he said the fact that the Constitution had to be amended showed something was truly amiss and the MACC's inability to stop political enticements was the problem.
"We want to ask the MACC: Why weren't promises of positions and inducements not investigated and swept under the carpet?
"This constitutional amendment gives the impression that something is not right. If not, why amend the Constitution? Why are (lawmakers) trying to stop MPs from betraying the voters?
"Why do people switch parties? Because of money and positions. This has to be investigated and, until today, it is not," said Anwar (above).
In May 2020, an audio recording was alleged to have contained then prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin explaining plans to entice defections from Umno by offering positions.
Former prime minister Muhyiddin YassinThis was the infamous "scheme of things" speech which Bersatu has never addressed publicly.
Anwar argued that if "money politics" was not addressed, then the wealthy and powerful will continue to hold a grip on the government.
"Do we agree completely with this bill? Not completely because it does not fulfil the principles of integrity.
"However, based on the current situation, we take this as a good start. It is an attempt to avoid authoritarianism tendencies and an attempt to prevent people from seizing power through unscrupulous means," he said.
At one point, Edmund Santhara Kumar (PN-Segamat) interjected Anwar and asked if he agreed that problems within PKR and the latter's problems with Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Pejuang-Langkawi) had led to defections.
Santhara also added that not all MPs defected because of money. He was among 10 PKR MPs who defected in February 2020.
Anwar Ibrahim (Pakatan Harapan-Port Dickson) speaking in the Dewan Rakyat.Anwar said he disagreed that disagreements within the party should be used as an excuse to betray the mandate of the voters.
"It can lead to protests or (resignation from a party) in protest. That's fine. But (not) an alliance of traitors," he said.
On Santhara's remarks about Mahathir, Anwar appeared prepared to let bygones be bygones.
"On Langkawi, I agree. Langkawi delayed the handover. That I accept. But we must also accept that when my name was raised, in the end, he signed (a letter) to support me (as prime minister)," Anwar said. - Mkini
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