Thursday, March 27, 2008


No hoppers from UMNO
Middlemen just frying to do business: Masidi


No Umno leaders in Sabah are crossing over to the Opposition, said State Umno Liaison Committee Assistant Secretary Datuk Masidi Manjun. He said although there are no laws that prevent them from hopping, Umno leaders in Sabah would not leave their course and will continue their struggle under Barisan Nasional for the benefit of the people they represent. “I don’t believe they would cross over simply because the Opposition invite them to do so. Politicians today are much smarter,” he said. Masidi was commenting on the claim that some Umno leaders had met Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Adviser Datuk Sen Anwar Ibrahim and expressed their willingness to cross over to the Opposition party. “I don’t think so lah; I think this is just about Malaysian politics being full of emotion. People can claim what they want,” he said. “The middlemen can claim anything they want, but basically they are just trying to do ‘business’. That’s all. They see a business proposition in the game of politics. That’s is they are claiming that they can arrange for people to ‘lompat’,” he said. On whether the Anti-Hopping Law should be enacted to legally prevent elected representatives from switching parties, Masidi said it is inconsistent with the freedom of choice and therefore unconstitutional, but it can still be done as seen in Bangladesh. He said the issue has been exhaustedly discussed in the media with some people harshly shooting down the idea while some others giving a more supportive view. The main argument lies with the question of whether it is consistent with the principle of freedom of choice, he said. “Legally, any law that stops people from hopping is unconstitutional as it goes against the principle of freedom of choice. But if you look at Bangladesh, the only country which practises Anti-Hopping Law, this idea can actually be done,” he said. “But what is important is that whatever law to be enacted, it has to be in line with and not against the principles enshrined in the Constitution. In this case, the freedom of choice.”