By Chew Lip Song
SARAWAK Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) wants all elected representatives who switch parties to be banned from contesting for 10 years, as the party reels from a string of defections that has reduced its Yang Berhormats in the state from seven to one.
It said politicians who defect were pursuing personal power and wealth instead of focusing on solving and managing issues affecting the people as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It also lashed out a former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for failure introduce legislative reforms to ban party-hopping during Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) 22 months in power, Borneo Post reported.
“We condemn mid-term party-hopping among members of Parliament and perceive it as an insult to voters and a gross breach of parliamentary integrity.
“We believe many voters feel betrayed and we urge them to teach these political frogs a lesson and dump them in future elections as a stern warning that this unscrupulous behaviour will no longer be tolerated,” said Sarawak PKR, in a statement, the daily reported.
The statement also called on defecting politicians to stop using the Covid-19 pandemic and their constituents to justify their action.
At the same time, Sarawak PKR also called for equal and fair allocations for all MPs to enable them to serve their constituencies, saying that institutional reform to reorganise parliamentary funding and allocation was needed so all MPs receive equal and fair allocations.
On Saturday, PKR vice president Dr Xavier Jayakumar announced he was quitting the party to become an independent MP supporting the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) government and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
During the last general election in 2018, PKR won six Parliamentary seats. All except its Miri MP Michael Teo is still with the party.
PKR MPs who had defected were Baru Bian (Selangau), Larry Sng (Julau), Jugah Muyang (Lubok Antu), Ali Biju (Saratok), Willie Mongin (Puncak Borneo).
Baru is also state assemblyman for Ba Kelalan while Ali is Adun for Krian. Batu Lintang assemblyman, formerly from PKR, had also defected to Parti Sarawak Bersatu last year. This leave PKR with zero representatives in the state legislature.