By Opalyn Mok
GEORGE TOWN, Nov 1 — Penang passed an enactment to amend the Constitution of the State of Penang by inserting a new article to stop party hopping amongst elected state assemblymen.
The state legislative assembly passed the enactment with a two-third majority when 27 Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen voted for it while four Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen abstained from voting.
The enactment was read three times and voted twice before it was passed.
In the enactment, Article 14A was inserted where an elected state assemblyman will need to vacate his seat if he resigns or is expelled from his party.
However, the state assemblyman may seek re-election in another election for the party.
The only exception will be for a state assemblyman whose party was dissolved or that he had resigned upon election as Speaker.
The enactment was tabled by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Air Putih) who in his speech said the passing of the enactment will mark a historic moment in Penang.
“This enactment will stop this unhealthy and unethical practice of party hopping and to return the power of democracy back to the people,” he said.
He said the enactment was drafted with the cooperation between the Pakatan Rakyat components.
Lim also said the state government is aware that the amendment to the state constitution may be challenged in court but Lim is confident that the state will win the case.