By Political Analyst and Secretary General of Parti Cinta Sabah Mohd Ustar Abdul Ghani
KOTA KINABALU: “And now the end is near and so l face the final curtain”, lyrics from the evergreen My Way probably best describe whatever hope politicians may have in their hopping frolic.
Yesterday Parliament passed the anti hop law ammending Article 10 of the Federal Constitution which for many years have invented political calamity through political defections.
Sabah once introduced the anti hop law in 1988 through the then government PBS but to no avail. Any contemplation of hinging on such political manoeuvre would be adversely defeated by Article 10, an enigmatic connotation of ‘freedom of association’.
Proponents of ‘freedom of association’ may not have realised the grotesque consequences of such freedom which have caused political chaos in the ensuing years.
Political defections have seen politicians riding on the people’s interest indiscriminately
switching allegiance betraying the people’s trust who voted them into office resulting in the downfall of a legitimately elected government.
Pakatan Harapan, PBS and Warisan are casualties of that given freedom and most recently that very freedom was used as a lethal political weapon for political greed and indecent political ambition which saw the nation appointing three Prime Ministers within a spate of three years.
Article 10 was supposedly a carte blanche for politicians to endeavour in a political absolve translated by defectors as noble when those betrayed saw it as wicked, degrading and sinful. The myriad ugly sequel was least in the minds of these defectors and betrayers. Article 10 was seen as an enemy or a friend depending on which side of the fence you are.
We salute the government and the lawmakers who bravely supported the ammendment. This serves as an impetus for a fair, decent and stable moraled politics. Any attempts to ridicule the people’s trust is now met with this ammendment.
There are of course mitigating and extenuating circumstances but the good outweighs the evil. The 1992 political fracas in Kelantan, the succumbing of PBS and Warisan in Sabah and the crumbling of Pakatan Harapan through the infamous Sheraton move invented by ‘horses trading’ a political jargon construed as sinful and bereft morality. All these are a product of defection entails from the freedom rendered in Article 10.
We can never really understood that given freedom in Article 10 other than literally interpreting it. With the recent ammendment, Malaysian politics could now move forward and the ghost of defection finally put to rest.
There are many uncertainties clouding the political stage. Momentarily Malaysia will paddle through without being reminded of the political conflicts in years ahead. There remain one big question which should be addressed.
What happens if the 222 lawmakers are equally divided between the government and the opposition. Its a political equation unthinkable and probably devoid of logic but sometimes god works in a mysterious way. Until such time, politics is now pacified and if that happens the August House will once again be taunted with the grim reminder of yet another constitutional ammendment.