Defections unethical, says Khairy

Umno Youth deputy chief “troubled by party hopping”

"I would be extremely disappointed if they jumped over and the charges were dropped against them. To me, that would not only be unethical because of the party-hopping bit. That would be extremely unethical because you're basically saying if you want to get out of [a] charge for a crime, then join Umno."

By Jacqueline Ann Surin and Shanon Shah, The Nut Graph

Umno Youth chief aspirant Khairy Jamaluddin said he is opposed to party-hopping because it is unethical, but he will not support anti-hopping legislation.

"I personally have written and spoken about party-hopping being unethical, and I would hold that line.

"But when there's no legislation preventing it from happening, you can say it's unethical but you can't stop it from happening," he told The Nut Graph in an interview at his office yesterday.

He said even though it was unethical, it would be hard for the Barisan Nasional (BN) to "resist the temptation" of toppling a government by encouraging defections, especially since "we didn't start it".

On 25 Jan, the Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak claimed victory when Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim, the Umno assemblyperson for Bota, joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Subsequently, speculation has been rife that PKR state assemblyperson for Behrang Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyperson Mohd Osman Jailu would be hopping over to Umno.

Prime Minister and BN chairperson Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has since come out to say the BN would accept any Pakatan Rakyat-elected representatives who wanted to join the BN.

If the two assemblypersons, who have been charged with corruption, do defect to Umno, the move would reduce the Pakatan Rakyat government's majority in Perak to a wafer-thin 30:29.