|Anti-hopping law won’t work, say lawyers|
|Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:41am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
by PRISCILLA DIELENBERG
GEORGE TOWN: A law against party-hopping will not be effective even if it is passed by the Penang government as it is unconstitutional, said lawyers.
Veteran lawyer Datuk C.V. Prabhakaran said such a law went against a 1992 Supreme Court ruling.
“You cannot pass a legislation restricting personal freedom. It is ultra vires.
“The representatives are elected by the rakyat. What is the Chief Minister trying to do?” said Prabhakaran.
He was commenting on a statement by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that the state government was planning to legislate against party-hopping to prevent “frogs and tadpoles” from breeding in Penang.
On April 3, 1992, the then Supreme Court had ruled in the case of Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan v Nordin Salleh that the PAS-led Kelantan government's enactment outlawing party-hopping was unconstitutional.
The court held that such a law contravened Article 10(1)(c) of the Federal Constitution as it affected one's right to the freedom of association.
Another veteran lawyer, Datuk K. Kumaraendran, said that although the proposal was a good move, merely passing an anti-hopping Bill was “lip service”.
All political parties, he said, should instead deter any act to entice members, which he described as being in “bad taste”.
DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who had consistently supported an anti-party hopping stance, said passing such a law was “going to be a problem” as it had already been declared unconstitutional.
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