Wednesday, September 27, 2023
26 C
Brunei Town
- Advertisement -

Anti-hopping bill to be tabled on July 18, says Malaysian minister

THE STRAITS TIMES – Malaysia’s proposed anti-hopping bill will be tabled when Parliament begins its scheduled meeting this July 18.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has decided that there is “no need for the government to hold a special one-day Parliament sitting to table the Constitution (Amendments) 2022 Bill related to prohibition on switching parties by members of the Lower House of Parliament”, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said in a statement yesterday.

He cited several reasons why the prime minister decided not to hold a special one-day sitting to table the Constitutional amendments in the first week of July as proposed by the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC).

Among them was the cost of holding the special sitting and the absence of Members of Parliament (MPs) who will be abroad on official work.

“Overall, the government will have to bear an estimated cost of MYR1.07million, not including operational costs, if the special sitting is held for both the Lower and Upper Houses,” he said.

Besides this, he noted that several MPs will be overseas if the meeting is held in the first week of July as proposed by the PSSC.

“As an example, the special select committee on finance and economy including the committee on security will be away between early and mid-July,” he added.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

Wan Junaidi also noted that the coming Parliament meeting has been scheduled to begin on July 18. He said the proposed Bill will be tabled at the meeting and assured that ample time would be given to debate and pass the proposed law.

On Wednesday, Wan Junaidi announced that the PSSC had finalised the draft of the proposed laws for Cabinet’s approval including a recommendation to hold a special one-day sitting in the first week of July for the purpose.

Parliament’s Lower House is scheduled to meet from July 18 till August 4.

On June 2, Wan Junaidi announced that the proposed anti-hopping laws would be implemented through the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2022.

He said that there was no need for separate specific laws to deal with party hopping. If passed, the anti-hopping law could be enforced as early as September.

Among the proposed amendments is that a by-election is to be held within 60 days if an MP switches parties or voluntarily resigns from his party.

Also to be amended is Article 10 of the Federal Constitution on freedom of association, an effort to prevent party hopping.

This will be by way of a new provision 3A added under Article 10 to restrict the freedom of association in relation to membership in a political party by elected representatives.

Also to be introduced is a new Article 49A where a “casual vacancy” would occur if an MP party hops, resigns from his or her party or if an elected independent MP joins a party.

The proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution will require two-thirds majority support in the Lower House or 148 votes out of the current 220 MPs.

A total of 39 elected representatives have switched parties since the last general election in 2018, resulting in political instability and the collapse of several state governments.

Last September, the government inked a memorandum of understanding with opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) to initiate reforms that includes tabling proposed anti-hopping laws in Parliament before July 31 this year.

- Advertisement -

Latest article