MPs return to Dewan Rakyat for special sitting


A SPECIAL Parliament sitting to table and debate the Constitution (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 2022 will be held today.

The special session includes a special meeting of the Dewan Rakyat today and a Special Meeting of the Dewan Negara tomorrow.

The tabling and debate would involve the enactment of an enabling clause under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution to allow a new act prohibiting MPs from switching parties.

However, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill on Anti-Party Hopping, which is scheduled to be tabled, debated and passed at the special meeting, has been postponed to another special sitting of Parliament to be determined later.

The postponement was agreed upon at a meeting of the Steering Committee on Transformation and Political Stability last Thursday, which was attended by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s (PM’s) Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (picture) and the committee’s chairman Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Apart from Wan Junaidi and Saifuddin Nasution, other government and opposition bloc representatives who attended the meeting included Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Alor Gajah MP Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof, DAP secretary general Anthony Loke Siew Fook who is also Seremban MP and Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo.

The tabling and debate of the Anti-Party Hopping Bill were postponed for the second time after it was scheduled to be tabled for the first reading on March 24.

The bill could not be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat sitting last March to obtain the views and input of all parties involved.

Prior to this, Wan Junaidi was reported to have said that several proposed constitutional amendments would be tabled during the Dewan Rakyat sitting last March, including the Anti-Party Hopping Bill and limiting the PM’s term to two terms.

This is in line with PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s call for the bill to be expedited after the government signed a memorandum of understanding on Transformation and Political Stability with Pakatan Harapan on Sept 13, 2021.

On April 2, Wan Junaidi revealed that a total of 39 MPs in the country had jumped parties since 2018, and that it had also led to political instability in Malaysia, with the country witnessing three PMs being appointed in a single parliamentary term.

A special Parliament sitting is a meeting held while the Council is in adjournment and in accordance with the Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 11 (3) the business of the meeting shall be determined by the PM and notification of the business shall be sent to members not later than the time to hold the meeting.

The Special Parliament sitting is also different from the regular session in that there will be no other government matters and oral question and answer session.

This special sitting is the third in a year after a special meeting on the Proclamation of Emergency and Emergency Ordinances was held on July 26 last year and flood issues on Jan 20.

Prior to that, the Parliament also held a special sitting to discuss the Gaza issue on Jan 12, 2009, the MH17 crash on July 23, 2014, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement on Jan 26 and 27, 2016.

Meanwhile, the Second Meeting of the Fifth Session of the 14th Parliament is scheduled to start on July 18 to Aug 4, while the Third Meeting is scheduled for 31 days from Oct 26 to Dec 15.