Saturday, January 31, 2009

PBRS proposes common stand against defections - Malaysiakini

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) is calling for a common stand to be taken by Barisan Nasional and the Opposition against accepting elected representatives who defect from their parties.

Voicing his party’s support for an “anti-hopping” law, PBRS president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said a pact against crossovers between Barisan and the Opposition would be a viable alternative to any legislation requiring an elected representative to quit his seat if he resigned from the party he represented when he was elected.

He said an anti-hop law would require amending the Federal Constitution which requires two-thirds of Parliament support, adding that Barisan “does not have the numbers.”

“Perhaps if the Opposition is willing to support such an amendment, this law could become reality,” Kurup said after his party’s closed-door convention here Saturday.

Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday that Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan’s call for the anti-hop law had some merit.

Pairin had called for amendments to be made to the federal and the various state constitutions for anti-hop law provisions to ensure political stability.

His remarks came in the wake of a statement by Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Rais Yatim, who said Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasruddin Hashim should be made to quit his seat after ditching the party for Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Meanwhile, Kurup said his party was all geared should a by-election be called for the Pensiangan parliament seat after the Court of Appeal hearing scheduled for Feb 12 and 13.

Kurup won the Pensiangan seat unopposed, with about 19,000 mainly ethnic Murut voters, in the March 2008 general election, but an election court on Sept 8 declared the result null and void.

He has since appealed to the Federal Court.

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