Introducing anti-hop law unsustainable: LDP president

(Bernama) KOTA KINABALU (Jan 29, 2009): Any attempt to amend the Federal Constitution is legally unsustainable as the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition falls short of the magic two-thirds majority in Parliment.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk V. K. Liew said under the present constitution, any proposal to restrict anyone from joining any organisation such as a political party was against the freedom of associaton.

"As such, it is futile to talk about it unless of course, we overcome the prohibition in the constitution first," he told Bernama here today.

Liew, who is also deputy minister of international trade and industry, was asked to comment on a proposal by several Umno leaders for the introduction of an anti-party hopping law to ensure a moral political practice in the country.

The anti-hop law proposal took centre stage, following the defection of Perak Umno assemblyman for Bota Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

On Sunday, Nasaruddin, who won the seat by a majority of 2,068 votes against PKR's Usaili Alias in the General Election held last March, declared that he was quitting Umno to join PKR.

Following his move, the Pakatan Rakyat government of PAS, DAP and PKR in the state increased its seats to 31 in the State Assembly while the BN's was reduced to 28.

Liew said in Sabah, the then Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) government enacted such a law in the 1980's but was later declared ultra vires the Federal Constitution as it restrained one's freedom of association. — Bernama