Tempers Flare In Penang Assembly Over Party Hopping
PPBM’s Dr Afif Bahardin (left) claims that Chow Kon Yeow and Lim Guan Eng support party hopping.GEORGE TOWN: Tempers flared in the state assembly today when an opposition member accused Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and his predecessor, Lim Guan Eng, of being hypocrites on the issue of party hopping.
Dr Afif Bahardin (PPBM-Seberang Jaya) said the two supported Anwar Ibrahim in his bid to form a new federal government.
The verbal exchange started when several government backbenchers pressed opposition leader Muhammad Yusoff Mohd Noor (BN-Sungai Dua) to state his stand on party hopping.
But as Yusoff started to say that he supported his new friends on the opposition bench, several backbenchers interrupted him, asking: “So, you support party hopping?”
Afif interjected, saying they should direct their question to Chow (DAP-Padang Kota) and Lim (DAP-Air Putih).
He said this was because Chow and Lim had openly supported Anwar’s move to form a new federal government two weeks ago.
“The question should be posed to the CM and Air Putih,” Afif, who switched from PKR to PPBM, said during the debate on the Supply Bill 2021.
“This is because when Port Dickson (Anwar) issued a statement (that he has majority support to form a new government) two weeks ago, they both supported the move for MPs to switch parties to form a new government.”
Amid shouts by the backbenchers, Afif went on to say that he was unfairly sacked from the state government without due process.
Chow stood and said he had offered Afif the option to either resign or be sacked as a state executive councillor. “He chose to resign,” he said.
Satees Muniandy (DAP-Bagan Dalam) demanded that Afif withdraw his remarks that Chow supported party hopping.
“Chow merely welcomed the remarks by Anwar. He did not support party hopping. Please withdraw your remarks against the CM,” he said.
Afif stood by his remarks, saying Chow had clearly “welcomed” Anwar to form a new government, which was a tacit approval of party hopping.
Chow again stood and reminded Afif that Penang had anti-hopping laws, but at the federal level, there was none.
After the speaker calmed down the House, Yusoff said: “I really do not like to hop parties. I am one who has a stand to stay with one party. But the anti-hopping laws in Penang are not in line with the Federal Constitution.”
Chow interrupted Yusoff, saying the matter was being brought up in court and he should respect the court process.
“In our state laws, those who jumped parties ‘shall vacate’ but have yet to do so,” he said.
Afif and three of his new PPBM colleagues – Zulkifli Ibrahim (Sungai Acheh), Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq (Bertam) and Zolkifly Md Lazim (Telok Bahang) – have filed a legal challenge against the anti-hopping enactment.
Afif and Zulkifli joined PPBM from PKR. Khaliq and Zolkifly, both of PPBM, who were elected on Pakatan Harapan tickets during the 14th general election, remain in the party, although it is no longer part of PH. - FMT
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