Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the time was ripe to amend the Federal Constitution for the enaction of the proposed Anti-Hop Law.
"We have seen enough political instability in the past. It is time to give this proposal its due merit and approval."By having Anti-Hop Law provisions in the constitution, we would add another significant milestone in the stability of our social and political landscape," he said in a statement issued in Kota Kinabalu today.
Pairin, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said he would support "all those who are advocating to propose this amendment to the Federal and State constitutions".
He was commenting on Umno Supreme Council (MT) member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim's statement yesterday who asked the Perak Barisan Nasional (BN) to organise a mass movement to demand that Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim give up the seat to enable a by-election as he had chosen to cross over to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Rais, who is also foreign minister, had said Nasaruddin won the seat on the BN ticket in the general election and by deserting the coalition, he had betrayed the trust of the people.
He said debate on the proposed Anti-Hop Law should be brought to a conclusion so that political stability based on honesty and sincerity in joining a political party and the social contract between the voters and the candidate could be properly crystallised.
"This will justify the placement of the Anti-Hop Law in the constitution both at the Federal and State-levels. I believe it is now an appropriate time to push this Anti-Hop Law through Parliament," he said.
The then-PBS State Covernment and Pairin as the Chief Minister 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.
Consequently, the constitutional freedom denied PBS, then an opposition party ruling Sabah in 1994, the right to bring action against the majority of PBS assemblymen who switched over to the BN after winning in the ninth general elections.
The mass defection caused the fourth-term PBS State Government (since 1985) to last only two weeks before it was forced out of power by BN.