Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 29 Oct 2018

Former Umno stalwart Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed who has just defected to Bersatu has been described as “a leader with good morals, integrity and a clean image”.

Indeed! The first thing any Member of Parliament with good morals and integrity should do after they have resigned from the coalition under which they stood during the GE14 would be to vacate their seats because they were elected based on their coalition affiliation. It was for that very reason that UMNO and Barisan Nasional were rejected at the GE14.

Members of Parliament forfeit their seats either when they leave the party/coalition, switch parties or are expelled before they finish their term. Who, except for the thick-skinned politician without morals and integrity, doesn’t know that?

Few good men in New Malaysia

Isn’t there supposed to be a new political culture under the Pakatan Harapan Government after the GE14? The hatred for party hoppers was prevalent in the DAP for decades. However, the contempt and vilification of the three Pakatan representatives in Perak who defected to BN in 2009 was soon forgotten when Pakatan leader Anwar Ibrahim attempted his “September 16th Caper” after the 2008 general elections.

It had to be the fiercely independent and principled Karpal Singh who stood out to condemn such crossover capers when his own coalition leaders tried to execute similar ruses. His vociferous castigation of Anwar Ibrahim for attempting to affect the defection of BN MPs to Pakatan after the 2008 general elections and the compliance of his own party’s leaders, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng can still be seen on Youtube:

“Anwar Ibrahim harus bertaubat…Even the DAP followed the rhetoric of Anwar Ibrahim in supporting crossovers. I regret that I have not been able to get the support from my own party leaders, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng. It’s a shame – they should also bertaubat…”

Although Karpal Singh is no longer with us, his stirring condemnation of unethical crossovers of MPs should be the benchmark against which to judge party hoppers. PH leaders ought to honour the memory of the late Karpal Singh by reaffirming the principle he held so fervently and demand that all these MPs who have left their party/coalition vacate their parliamentary seats forthwith.

In the same vein, PH Members of parliament should make it their priority to legislate an anti-defection law at the next parliamentary seating. They may know that in India, for example, an Anti-Defection Act was included in the Constitution of 1985 and sets the provisions for disqualification of elected members on the grounds of defection to another political party.

Toads, donkeys, moronic oxen, a veritable circus

Since 2008, we have had a veritable political circus – toads jumping into the opposing coalition, donkeys turning into moronic oxen (PH or BN- leaning “independents”). When will the circus end? As a seventies song goes:

“Politicians were mice (politikus) and the rakyat were lions

 once upon an election time –

 Now it’s the opposite,

 That’s twice upon a time!”

Another Sixties song puts it even more succinctly for the Malaysian voter:

“Laugh about it, shout about it,

 When it’s time to choose –

 Any way you look at it you lose!”

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