KOTA KINABALU, March 6 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar will be briefing Perikatan Nasional (PN) component parties on the proposed anti-hopping law on Tuesday, said Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) said that in accordance to the memorandum of understanding signed with the opposition, the proposed anti-hopping law will be tabled during the current sitting of Parliament which will end on March 25.
“We are hopeful that Wan Junaidi can table it before the last day of the current sitting but we will not know the details until the meeting on Tuesday,” the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president said when met by reporters after PBS’ 37th anniversary dinner last night.
As far as PBS is concerned, Maximus said they are giving their full support to this proposed law as this is what the party has been fighting for all this while.
“For us, we have already given our go ahead, we are giving (our) full support as (this is) what PBS has been fighting for all this while, since when we first put it in the state Constitution and (it was) declared illegal by the High Court,” he added.
He pointed out that the party’s stand on the matter has never wavered for the last 37 years.
“Our stand is straight forward, we are one of the earliest founders of anti-hopping law. Even the judiciary did not agree with us (and) declared it illegal). So we are grateful that after 37 years they finally agreed to table it,” he said.
When asked if the anti-hopping law should also be tabled in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, Ongkili said it should be tabled because the law was passed by the assembly during PBS’ time in the government.
“So there is hardly any amendments to (be) made except to take off the component that subject to certain specifications (where) it cannot be considered as against the principle of freedom of association.
“That is why they are taking off that part from the provision in Parliament, so that it is is not just illegal, to declare somebody unqualified as a YB (elected representative) is subject to various terms to be defined.
“Most MPs have accepted it except a few very short listed items that need to be debated like one on the issue of when you stand as an independent candidate and then you join a party, some people think that it should not be seen as jumping but PBS thinks it is still jumping because you promised to fight for me as an independent candidate and then you changed your mind, its completely against your promise to me as a voter,” said Ongkili.
Meanwhile, when asked for an update on the formal registration of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), Maximus said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor is expected to make the announcement as soon as it is finalised with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
“He (Hajiji) has communicated to us and submitted to us internally. Let the president (Hajiji) announce the line but but our key point is that GRS should spend time strengthening the line up in the existing party and don’t spend too much time scouting for new members.
“We should strengthen each other rather than getting new members whom we don’t know very well and who were our enemies 14 months ago during the state election. That is PBS’ stand, otherwise were are faithful supporters of GRS,” Ongkili stressed. — Borneo Post