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    Anti-party hopping laws to ensure political stability: Malaysian PM

    CNA – Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob tabled the anti-party hopping Bill for a second reading in Parliament yesterday.

    In his speech explaining the proposed constitutional amendments, Mr Ismail Sabri said the government viewed party hopping seriously as it had given rise to debates and polemics among the public.

    “This is because it involves the mandate or trust of the people who elect their representatives in the Lower House,” Ismail Sabri said.

    The proposed legislative amendments send a clear message to MPs that they should uphold the principles of the parties they represent in order to protect the people’s mandate, the prime minister said.

    The amendments aims at “ensuring political stability and preventing endless political crisis for the country”, he said.

    The Bill, which is likely to be put to vote today, is a key point in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ismail Sabri’s government and the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition in September last year.

    House of Representatives in Malaysia’s parliament. PHOTO: BERNAMA

    De facto Law Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said previously that Malaysia’s democratic practices were unhealthy as 39 parliamentarians had switched political allegiances and three prime ministers had been appointed since the 2018 general election.

    If the Bill is passed, MPs have to vacate their seat if they quit or cease to become a member of their political party.

    Those who stand in the election as independents will also lose their seat if they join a political party later.

    However, MPs who are fired from their parties do not have to vacate their seats.

    Ismail Sabri said yesterday that the amendments will not be applied retrospectively.

    He said 12 engagement sessions had been held between November 2021 and April 2022 for the drafting of the proposed constitutional amendments.

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