Labuan MP Says Loophole in Anti-hopping Law Not His Fault, but His ‘Good Fortune’

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The loophole in the anti-hopping law that allows a lawmaker to retain their seat if they switch allegiances without quitting their party was providence, said Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman who was suspended from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia for declaring his support for the government.

He also argued that he could not be blamed for the existence of the loophole as he had not been a lawmaker when the constitutional amendment was drafted and eventually approved in Parliament.

“I did not read the law thoroughly, but what I know is if we quit the party, we will have to vacate the seat. But I did not quit the party. I had just declared support for the unity government and I got the allocation,” he said, referring to the funding for all government-aligned MPs.

“If fate had destined to be a loophole, then it would be our good fortune (rezeki),” said Suhaili when speaking to reporters when met at the Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah annual congress here today.

Suhaili also claimed he had consulted with his constituents about his actions and that they supported him wholeheartedly.

He also said that it was important that, as an elected representative, he be able to provide funds for development, before adding that he had already received RM300,000 for this purpose over the past two months.

Suhaili, who contested the 15th general election under Perikatan Nasional, had issued a statement giving his support to the unity government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on October 31.

When asked about his presence at a government party event, he denied he was joining Gagasan and said he was merely attending the event as support to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

Suhaili also said that he and other Bersatu MPs who pledged support to Anwar were discussing suing those claiming they were bribed into switching support.

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