KUCHING: There is no law in the Malaysian Legal System that can compel a party’s candidates or elected persons to pay penalties to the party concerned for failing to file their papers on nomination day or jumping ship after winning elections.
“This is why there is a significant number of political ‘kataks’ (party hoppers) in the nation,” said local political pundit Datuk Peter Minos.
He was commenting on the candidates agreement (CA) drawn up by Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) to prevent elected candidates from jumping ship.
It is learnt that the party had put a price tag of RM50 million on its president and RM20 million on its other candidates.
Minos pointed out that the candidates agreement was unenforceable in law.
“Obviously, PBK seeks to prevent its candidates from bailing out at the last minute or its successful candidates to defect or jump ship. The question is — will PBK win any seat? Given PBK’s rather unknown standing and not yet proven ability.
“If PBK wins a seat and the elected one chooses to defect, then what? That elected representative does not have millions for one. And if he or she has the money, he or she is out of his or her mind to pay up.
“If PBK sues, PBK will lose as no law supports it,” he said, adding that the agreement was merely a political stunt for PBK to be heard by the masses.
Asked why party hoppers crossed over to other parties after winning an election, Minos said only they themselves knew the real answers.
“I can only say this — those who jump purely for the money are being looked down and frowned upon by the people.
“As for those who lose faith and confidence in their parties or top leaders, well that cannot be helped. It is their rights and freedom. That is why there is no law to prevent party hopping and defecting,” he said when contacted by New Sarawak Tribune.
Minos added to prevent party hopping, parties and their leaders must be able to retain the trust and confidence of their elected representatives at all times.
He added that they should not do anything, in words or actions, that could force their representatives to leave the parties.
“For instance, many in United Malays National Organisation (Umno) left because they see some top leaders going in and out of courts over criminal charges and they do not like it. I certainly don’t.
“At times, top Umno leaders make strange and unpalatable decisions and so some Umno members are very unhappy and they just run away. This is leaving on principles,” added Minos.