Supporting anti-hopping laws? M’sian politicians say the darndest things

By Dominic Tham

WHILE Malaysian politicians are known to shoot from their hips, Julau MP Larry Sng from Sarawak has taken the cake when he proudly proclaimed he supports anti-hopping laws.

He made the remarks not even two days after defecting from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to be an independent lawmaker friendly towards PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional.

Of all the MPs, Sng the son of a longtime Sarawak politician, Datuk Sng Chee Hua, should be the last person to talk about promoting anti-hopping laws. At last count, the younger Sng has been in five parties in his two decades in politics.

During his maiden election in 2001, Larry stood in Pelagus state seat under the Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) ticket, replacing his father in the constituency, which the younger Sng held until 2011.

After PBDS was declared illegal, Larry joined Parti Rakyat Sarawak but was sacked in 2007 after his failed coup to topple party president Tan Sri James Masing. He stayed as an independent lawmaker before founding the Sarawak Workers Party whom he led for four years before quitting in 2016.

During the 2018 general election, Larry stood as an independent candidate in Julau and joined PKR after Pakatan Harapan swept to victory in the polls. Over the weekend, Sng pledged allegiance to Muhyiddin, who’s hanging on to power by a thread.

How can someone whose track record shows no hesitation switching political allegiance be promoting anti-hopping laws? Did he do anything to promote the law when PH was in power at the federal level? Why didn’t Larry push for the law when he was in the Sarawak Cabinet, at one time the youngest ever assistant minister in the state?

Was Larry’s pledge to push for anti-hopping laws his feeble attempt to swing public opinion after witnessing the harsh criticisms he had received for jumping ship? If so, it was not just too little too late, but also a move that backfired.

Larry had cited the need for developmental funds as reasons for switching allegiance. This doesn’t hold water because for the longest time, he was part of the ruling state government during the Sarawak BN era, as well as when PH ruled Putrajaya.

Did he do anything to secure more funding to his constituents? Based on 2018 new reports, Larry was the richest MP from Sarawak, with assets totalling RM11.78 mil according to a declaration to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

This should not come as a surprise. Not only is his father known to be wealthy philanthropist, Larry is married to the daughter of another Sarawak businessman, the late Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing.

There are also unconfirmed reports that Larry switched camp under duress after being investigated by the Inland Revenue Board. Days prior to Larry’s defection, PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had alluded that several of his party’s lawmakers were threatened with probes by the authorities.

Whatever the motivations, Larry’s move came as a disappointment to Malaysians eager to see the downfall of the “backdoor” Muhyiddin administration and the development of more matured politics.

Following the brickbats, one would think that Larry would shut up and move on, not talk about supporting anti-hopping laws, which by its very absence, has worked in favour of him over the years.


Dominic Tham is a Focus Malaysia editorial contributor.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FocusM.

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