When Bota assemblyman Nasarudin Hashim defected to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and 10 days later rejoined UMNO, some people claimed that he was the first double-frogged politician.
That is not true. I believe the first double-frogged politician was “born” in Sarawak.
It was in Sarawak where this culture of double-frogging began when Ulu Rajang MP Justine Jinggut elected unopposed on a SNAP ticket in the 1982 parliamentary election defected to Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) in 1983.
In 1986, he contested on a PBDS ticket and won with a big majority. He leap-frogged back to SNAP before 1987. In 1990 he stood again on a SNAP ticket and was soundly defeated by Billy Abit Joo of PBDS.
Before the State election in April 1987, 28 State assemblymen resigned from their parties to defect to PBDS and Persatuan Rakyat Malaysia Sarawak (Permas).
Those from Sarawak National Party (SNAP) joined Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) and they were SNAP deputy president Edward Jeli, SNAP secretary general Joseph Balan Seling, SNAP vice president Michael Ben Anak Panggi and SNAP CEC member Geman Anak Itam.
Their defections prompted Sarawak’s Chief Minster Abdul Taib Mahmud to call for a fresh election which was held on 15 and 16 April 1987.
PBDS won 15 seats, while Permas won only five seats. Edward Jeli, Geman Anak Itam, Balan Seling and Michael Ben won with big majorities in their respective constituencies.
On 14 July 1987, Edward Jeli and Geman leap-frogged back to SNAP, while Balan and Michael Ben hopped to PBB. Sora Anak Rosah defected from PBDS to PBB.
PBDS seats were further reduced to seven when months later Gramong Juna, Mikai Mandau and Bolhassan Kambar defected to PBB.
Sarawak has seen many political frogs since independence, the majority of them were Dayak politicians; and among the first were Nelson Kundai Ngarieng and Stephen Ngelambong from SNAP to PBB, Simon Dembab Maja and Penghulu Abok Anak Jalin from Pesaka to PBB in 1970. Years later Serian MP Richard Riot resigned from PBDS and defected to SUPP.
After partyless for some time, Jawah Gerang joined Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and after only a few months he hopped to Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
As for Johnichal Rayong who contested on a SNAP ticket in the Engkilili state seat secretly joined SPDP, and following the objection of other BN parties, he wanted to leap-frog to SUPP and his acceptance in SUPP should be announced before June 2008.
Until today his application to be a political frog is put on hold. Nevertheless, he behaves like one of them.The ugly culture of political frogs will not only promote the evil of corruption, but it is also the betrayal of the worst kind to those people who voted for them.
Unless the government does something such as introducing the anti-hopping law, political frogs will breed more political frogs, and we as Dayaks should support this law as the majority of political frogs come from our community.
But the question is: Why are Dayak politicians so easily succumbed to temptation to become political frogs and to forsake their honour (if they have any way), the honour of their family and their generation to come?
First-singled frog politician was born in Sabah in 1976?