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Govt considers law to stop defection among lawmakers

 


March 24, 2008

MALAYSIA/POLITICS
Govt considers law to stop defection among lawmakers

Amidst reports that the opposition was trying to lure ruling party defectors in an attempt to unseat the government, the government is reportedly considering making it illegal for lawmakers to switch sides.

"To me, these (defectors) have no integrity and I hope the government can formulate a special law. It's high time that we have the Anti-Hopping Law to stop such acts," Zaid Ibrahim, a minister in the Prime Minister's Office tasked with judicial oversight, was quoted by state news agency Bernama as saying Saturday.

There were rumours of ruling coalition lawmakers from the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo island having contacted opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim to discuss switching sides. However, MPs concerned denied the speculations.


Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's race-based Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition suffered its worst ever election results on March 8, losing five states and its two-thirds majority in parliament to the opposition.

Barisan Nasional will have 140 lawmakers in the new 222-seat parliament, against 199 in the outgoing 219-seat parliament. The opposition alliance won 80 seats from just 19 previously.


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