PETALING JAYA: A former MP has urged elected representatives who express support for another party leader to resign from their seats to ensure fairness in the political system.
“When it comes to the anti-hopping law, you can argue whether there’s freedom of expression and all, but it’s already a law now, which means MPs cannot cross over and only parties can,” former Klang MP Charles Santiago told FMT.
Santiago, of DAP, was commenting on Labuan MP Suhaili Abdul Rahman’s declaration of support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim yesterday.
Suhaili, of Bersatu, is the second opposition MP to declare support for Anwar’s government after Kuala Kangsar MP Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid, who is also from Bersatu.
Santiago said the purpose of the anti-hopping law introduced last year was to ensure political stability and prevent another Sheraton Move.
The Sheraton Move in 2020 saw Barisan Nasional, Bersatu, PAS, and a faction led by PKR’s then deputy president Azmin Ali joining forces to topple the Pakatan Harapan government.
He said while opposition MPs have the autonomy to make their own decisions, they must consider the consequences of their actions on their party.
“If an opposition MP wants to express support for Anwar, it might be fairer to their current party if they consider resigning and running for re-election,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bersih chairman Thomas Fann said an MP’s decision to back another party leader was a loophole that placed a party in a dilemma.
“The party must decide on an appropriate punishment for these MPs without risking the loss of its seats in Parliament, which would also harm the party’s overall representation.
“MPs who align with the opposing side but remain with their party should face a recall election or a recall petition process.
“Ultimately, the decision (to re-elect the MP) should be returned to the voters,” Fann said.