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The Government is seeking to introduce a constitutional amendment banning party-hopping — requiring members of parliament to resign from their seat and stand for a by-election. It’s funny – isn’t this the same party that won back Sabah in 1994 purely through party hopping? Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng backs this, though I doubt the government can rally enough Opposition MPs to back this. Seeing that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim still harbour fantasies of being Prime Minister through cross-overs, unlikely the Najib would be able to push this through.

Personally, I’m agnostic about it. It would make cross-overs harder but marginally so – MPs contemplating crossing over (especially to the Opposition) already have to take into account public sentiment and their popularity in the constituency — they eventually have to face the voters. The government’s proposal just makes it quicker, and perhaps, at the expense of freedom of association.


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