KUCHING, Nov 23 ― Former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) members in Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) might suffer the fate of electoral defeat as ‘party-hopping’ politicians in the Melaka state election, said Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
Speaking to the press after presenting appointment certificates to community leaders in Asajaya at a hotel here yesterday, Abdul Karim remarked that those ‘party-hopping’ elected people’s representatives had deservingly received their ‘punishment’ in the Melaka election.
“If elected legislative assembly members switched to another political party because their current party was deregistered, I understand because they need a new platform to represent their people.”
Abdul Karim, however, said some elected people’s representatives switched to another party solely because of a ‘change in ideologies’, like what happened in PSB.
“I believe such politicians had faced the consequences of their actions in the Melaka election and there is a big chance those in PSB might suffer the same fate.”
He said elected people’s representatives would be betraying the mandate given by the people if they decided to switch to another party once they won the election.
“When voters choose a candidate in an election, they are supporting both the candidate and the political party he or she represented.
“If these candidates ‘switch’ to another party after winning, the voters will be very angry. That’s why those incumbents who ‘hopped’ to another party were defeated in the just-concluded Melaka state election,” he said.
Elected people’s representatives from PKR who had joined PSB are Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian and Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How.
Moreover, Abdul Karim added, the landslide victory by Barisan National (BN) had clearly reflected the people’s frustration with political infighting and their desire for a stable government.
“What happened in Melaka state election was very interesting. I find it a good and new development because the people were given the power to choose their own government and they fulfilled their right very well.
“I have never seen BN and Umno win an election in such style. Despite problems within Umno itself, it still managed to get the people’s support and this showed that the people have confidence in the new leaders and candidates in the election,” said Abdul Karim.
On a related matter, Abdul Karim urged community leaders to encourage young people to come out to vote in the upcoming election as a higher voter turnout rate would provide greater legitimacy to the government of the day.
“No people’s representative or government would want to be elected based on a low voter turnout rate of between 30 and 40 per cent. Even the 65 per cent turnout rate in Melaka state election was not that satisfactory.”
If possible, Abdul Karim added, he would like to see the Sarawak state election record a voter turnout rate of about 75 to 80 per cent. ― Borneo Post