MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Expect more politicians to do the triple jump as GE15 looms


The triple jump event in athletics, comprising a hop, step and jump, also features prominently in Malaysian politics, so to speak. The latest champion in the political version is plantation industries and commodities minister and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin.

Zuraida first hopped out of PKR (to become an independent MP), then stepped on to Bersatu, and has now jumped to Parti Bangsa Malaysia, led by Sarawak MP Larry Sng.

Her name, and that of Azmin Ali, had featured strongly when PBM was first set up last year.

Although Zuraida had denied any connection then, Malaysians now know that she had not been upfront. Late last week, she said that Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin had been aware of the setting up of PBM as she had raised the matter with him.

She said she had informed Muhyiddin of the idea of a multiracial party that would be a “subsidiary” to Bersatu, according to a news report.

Zuraida, a former PKR vice-president, was among 10 party MPs, including deputy president Azmin, who were sacked for supporting the Perikatan Nasional government in February 2020 in the Sheraton Move which saw the fall of Pakatan Harapan.

Sng himself had also hopped from Barisan Nasional, stepped on PKR and hopped to PBM. There were many rumours that swirled around for his leaving PKR but the actual reasons are still unknown.

In hindsight, their moves show that they are obviously trying to save themselves from being punished by the voters at the next general election. It’s a well-known fact that Malaysian voters have generally penalised these “frogs” in past elections for their “undemocratic” move.

Going by the prevailing sentiments on the ground, Malaysians are waiting to teach a bitter lesson to those who had left the parties on whose ticket they won in the previous elections. The lesson is not to betray the voters.

PBM, which is considered a mosquito party right now, will obviously align itself with a strong coalition before the next general election to negotiate for seats which it thinks it can win.

This brings us to an important clause that is conspicuously absent in the current move to introduce an anti-hopping law. It does not prevent political parties from switching coalitions or leaving one as an entity.

Subang MP Wong Chen rightly pointed out the anti-hopping bill was mooted to prevent elected MPs from betraying their parties, not to stop political entities from switching sides.

Another Sheraton Move could still happen, with parties changing coalitions following offers of money, positions and promises of stopping anti-corruption probes.

Given the current crop of Malaysian politicians, that can happen again. Quite a few are caught in a culture of trying to escape prosecution at any cost, even if they know it will damage the integrity of key institutions like the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the judiciary and the police.

If this loophole is not plugged before the anti-hopping bill is passed in Parliament, the memorandum of understanding between the Ismail Sabri Yaakob government and Pakatan Harapan will surely be deemed as a failure.

PH leaders have time again touted the anti-hopping bill as one of the most important successes of their pact with Ismail, and had asked critics to be patient. Yet, eight long months after the pact was signed, the bill is still on the drawing board.

This inordinate delay, despite continuous promises from PH and government leaders, has led to doubt if the bill will be passed before the next general election, which could be held before the end of the year.

Zuraida’s sudden move to quit Bersatu and join PBM can be construed as a move to prepare for impending elections, by which she can move away from Ampang, the seat she first won in 2008.

Obviously she knows that voters in the constituency will kick her out if she contests again under Perikatan Nasional, as shown by the coalition’s miserable performance in the state elections in Sarawak, Melaka and Johor.

We can expect to see more MPs changing parties or coalitions and moving out of their current constituencies, where they are expected to lose.

If the proposed anti-hopping law does not bar parties from switching coalitions, political stability can never be attained, with three strong contending groupings namely BN, PH and PN, fighting for power. - FMT

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.