KOTA KINABALU: There is a pressing need to adopt the anti-hopping law in Sabah to ensure political stability in the state, says a Parti Warisan assemblyman.

Assafal Alian, who is the representative for Tungku, said the state government must table the Constitution (Amendment) Act (No.3) 2022 (Act A1663), more commonly known as the anti-party hopping law, more so after the political crisis that unfolded in the state over the past week.

According to Assafal, the law prohibiting MPs from crossing the floor went into effect on Oct 5 last year, and the Federal Government subsequently called on state governments to adopt the law at the state level.

“However, the anti-hopping law has yet to be implemented by the Sabah government despite several statements in the media by the Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor) who had given the commitment to do so since early November last year,” he said yesterday.

“After looking at what happened recently as well as the political turmoil involving the Sabah government since Malaysia’s formation, I urge the state government to table the law immediately.”

Assafal said the tabling of the law would be in line with the move at the federal level and several other states in the country, adding the law was aimed at restoring trust in the democracy and political system.

“If the law is tabled and passed at the Sabah state assembly, it would bring about political stability and development continuity, at least in the foreseeable future,” said the Warisan supreme council member.

Hajiji had said in October last year that Sabah would stick to the plan to introduce the anti-party hopping law at the end of November, after the 15th General Election, during the state assembly’s session on the state budget for 2023.

During the state Budget session the following month, however, the Chief Minister said the state government would not be tabling the anti-hopping Bill for the state during the week-long session, as they were focusing on the state Budget.

The Sabah political crisis, which unfolded sometime in the middle of last week, saw the Sabah Barisan Nasional-Umno pull its support from the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government.

Warisan, with its 19 assemblymen, and 17 Barisan representatives had planned to team up with smaller parties to unseat the Hajiji-led government.

But GRS was able to get the support of 44 assemblymen, including five Sabah Umno assemblymen who went against the Sabah Barisan’s leader Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and voted for Hajiji to stay on as Chief Minister.

This enabled Hajiji to stay on as the state’s top leader after garnering a simple majority in the 79-member state assembly.

As a result, the Sulaman assemblyman appointed new state ministers, including two of the Sabah Umno dissidents and two from Sabah Pakatan Harapan, in a Cabinet reshuffle that saw Bung Moktar lose his Deputy Chief Minister and Works Minister positions, while his two other loyal Umno assemblymen, namely Datuk Yakubah Khan and Datuk Jafry Ariffin, also lost their ministerships.