ISKANDAR PUTERI, Sept 22 — The Johor government has rejected the Opposition’s proposal to form a joint committee to enact a state law barring legislators from switching parties after election, according to Perling assemblyman Liew Chin Tong.
Liew, who is also Johor Opposition leader, questioned the state government’s rationale and described the rejection as frustrating, saying the proposed joint committee was made in the interest of all parties to ensure the anti-party hopping enactment would be in line with federal law.
“Our aspiration is not to turn our backs on anyone, but rather for the government and Opposition to develop a better understanding based on the proposed committee to discuss the enactment that will soon be tables at the state assembly,” he told reporters outside the state assembly at Bangunan Sultan Ismail in Kota Iskandar here today.
Liew was accompanied by newly appointed Johor Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, who is also Simpang Jeram assemblyman, and other Opposition representatives.
The idea for a joint committee had come from Liew’s party colleague and Skudai representative Marina Ibrahim.
Liew, who is from DAP, said that he had hoped Johor would be able to create a state anti-party hopping law similar to that established at the federal level, which was based on the mutual understanding between the government and the Opposition.
“This is the same spirit that we hope to introduce to the Johor state assembly so that a better understanding can be formed between both the state government and Opposition lawmakers.
“That is our wish for the state level,” he said.
The constitutional amendment to prohibit the political defection of elected representatives was gazetted on September 6, but will not be enforced until a date to be announced by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The federal gazette also said the portion of the law affecting assemblymen could be introduced in any state upon the agreement of its Ruler or Governor and the Agong.
Penang enacted an anti-party hopping law in 2012 while Sabah and Selangor have confirmed they will enact their own this year to be in line with federal law.