Don’t block anti-hopping bill, Bersih tells senators

PETALING JAYA: Electoral reform group Bersih has urged senators not to block the anti-hopping bill that will be tabled for its second reading and debated tomorrow.

The group made the call following reports that 12 Bersatu senators might block the bill due to growing tensions between the party and Umno.

“Political developments between Umno and Bersatu that have been happening since last week should not derail the passage of the anti-hopping amendments,” said the group’s steering committee in a statement.

“Bersih warns the senators to put national interest before that of their party’s.”

The group also called upon all 22 senators from Perikatan Nasional (PN) to publicly declare their stance on the constitutional amendment bill before its tabling, in order to clear the air on the matter.

There are 58 senators, including the 12 from Bersatu. Two more Bersatu members are expected to be sworn in as senators tomorrow.

A constitutional amendment requires the support of at least 47 senators.

The group also warned that any politician who reject this bill that was passed with overwhelming support by 209 MPs in Dewan Rakyat — without presenting any justified argument — would be “condemned by Malaysian voters in posterity”.

News on the possibility of the Bersatu senators blocking the passage of the bill came in the wake of reports that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob was prepared to call for a general election if PN withdrew its support for his government.

However, Bersatu has denied news reports of such a pullout.

Tensions between Ismail and PN have reportedly increased with the Bersatu-led coalition accusing the prime minister of failing to fulfil several promises made, including the appointment of a deputy prime minister.

First published by Free Malaysia Today on 8 August 2022 (