Penang Gerakan not 'hopping' with glee

Not everyone is hopping with glee at the prospects of an anti-hopping law scheduled for tabling in the November sitting of the Penang state assembly to frustrate the breeding of political frogs, and leaping to rival parties post-GE.

The Opposition in Penang - namely Gerakan - views this sudden rush in eagerness to propose the law despite every possibility of it being shot down by the federal government as

Anwar a 'hypocrite' sheer 'sandiwara or theatrics' on the part of Pakatan.

State Gerakan legal and human rights bureau chief Baljit Singh (left) said if Pakatan was genuine in respecting the people's mandate or choice of elected representatives, it would table the amendments in Parliament.

The lawyer had only weeks ago challenged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to state his position on the current defections besieging the Sabah BN, where several of its assemblypersons turned Pakatan-friendly.

"The political will of both sides of the divide is necessary to make the amendments possible in the August house, so that it would apply to the entire nation, and not merely at state level," Baljit told Malaysiakini.

He joined his comrades to remind the rakyat of Opposition leader and PKR defacto leader Anwar Ibrahim's foiled attempt to stage a coup on Sept 16, 2009 - whereby several BN MPs were supposed to jump ship - in a bid to seize Putrajaya.

Despite Anwar - the Permatang Pauh MP - giving the nod to Penang's plan to proposed the amend

ments making it possible for assemblypersons to leave the party and recontest in a fresh election, Baljit was not impressed.

"Anwar is a hypocrite. If he were serious about it, he would get it done in Selangor as well," said the Penang lawyer, a potential candidate for the coming polls, expected to be held this year.

He was responding to Lim's (right) the announcement yesterday that Penang executive councillors and elected state and parliamentary representatives have unanimously endorsed the plan to table amendments prohibiting mid-term defections.

A legal committee - comprising Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP-Dato Keramat), PAS' lawyer Hanipa Mydin and Yusmadi Yusof (PKR-Balik Pulau) will look into drafting the amendments.

The 11 Umno assemblypersons are expected to back the federal government's opposition to the legislation, as they had also declined to turn up at an official discussion on the matter held in Komtar yesterday.

Gerakan opposes anti-hopping law

Meanwhile, Baljit appears to be a tad out of sync with his party president - Koh Tsu Koon's position on the anti-hopping law.

But he said he understood his boss's stand when rejecting the law, while criticising Lim for practising "double-standards" as he had allegedly failed to oppose earlier defections.

Koh, a federal minister and 18 years Penang chief minister before 2008 polls, queried if Lim was tabling the amendment merely for "show".

"What Koh meant was that in a matured society, the right to freedom of association must be respected," Baljit said in defence of his party chief.

"But are we a matured society?" quipped Baljit, saying that the plan for such an important law must be done properly.

"All politicians from BN or Pakatan must return to the highest decision making body of the land - Parliament - to enact a anti-hopping law," he insisted





Follow @partigerakan