KOTA KINABALU April 29, 2012: Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, the chairman of civil society group, Democracy Sabah (DESAH), expressed the opinion that the anti-hop law should be revived in Sabah.
“To me it is good in the sense that if a candidate from a particular party was elected during an election, he or she was supported because of his or her stand in that particular party.
“If later that same person hops for his or her own interest, it effectively means that he or she has betrayed those who voted for them. But with the anti-hop law, you jump over, you lose your seat. I bet you, nobody will hop,” the former State Secretary said.
When asked of the latest development on DESAH which was formed recently to campaign for a one-to-one contest in the coming general election, Sipaun disclosed that some of the parties in the State have verbally stated their interest in what the group is doing.
“Our first debate will be on May 9 and some have indicated their interest to take part. This is just not to find out who will win the debate but also an indicator as to which party is more popular in a certain constituency.
“It may look that our group is siding the opposition, but that is not the case. Were the BN to be in the opposition now, we would have done the same thing,” he said, adding that the group was set up because in many instances, particularly in Sabah, after the election, the total number of votes cast for the opposition were more than for the winner.
“So we have a person representing a minority group. To me that is lop-sided,” he said, adding that it was high time that religion and race were left out of politics.
“It should be on the basis of what is good or bad for the country,” he urged.
Sipaun also said that for a straight fight to become a reality, the parties, especially the opposition, must be willing to contest only in constituencies where they are the strongest.
“It is just a question of being realistic about your chances, rather just because a few of your supporters think you can win,” he said.