Anti-Party Hopping Law should be resolved first, Gobind says

This is as the recall law requires a detailed study that calls for various consultation processes


THE implementation of recall elections alongside the constitutional amendment concerning Anti-Party Hopping Law may take a long time due to the processes involved in its legislation.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said the government needs to formulate laws that focus on “clear-cut” issues surrounding party hopping first before it holds discussion to draft recall laws.

“It would be best if all of it could be done in one go, that is the most appropriate position we could have but, in any events, we can see that there are two categories we are looking at now.

“One is a more straightforward position where a person, having been a member of a political party in a coalition during elections, ceases to be a member of the party for reasons perhaps of resignation or joining another party. Then of course by the operations of the constitution of the party itself, he ceases to be a member. Those are clear cut instances that can be dealt with immediately.

“You also have the second category where a member of a party takes a position which results in him being expelled from the party. In this scenario, he may want to explain himself but needs to have that forum by which he can have the right to be heard. And this is where the discussions come back to whether or not the appropriate remedy should be a recall,” he told reporters during a conference on Anti-Party Hopping Law organised by the Bar Council in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He noted that the recall law requires a detailed study that calls for various consultation processes, which would be time consuming now given that the Anti-Party Hopping Bill needs to be pushed for tabling before the next parliamentary sitting.

The Anti-Party Hopping Law has been pushed to the forefront in the memorandum of understanding between the government and Pakatan Harapan (PH), which will expire in July.

The Bill was slated for tabling in Parliament in February but it was postponed as the government stated it had yet to receive sufficient feedback. 

A special parliamentary sitting was then held on April 11, in relation to the Bill where the government and Opposition bloc agreed for matters relating to the proposed constitutional amendments to be referred to the Parliament Special Select Committee (PSSC) before it is tabled in the next parliamentary sitting.

The Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No 3) 2022 seeks to introduce a new clause, Article 10 (3)(a), that will impose restrictions on MPs and state assemblymen from switching political parties.

The PSSC is made up of 11 members namely Wan Junaidi as the chairman, Gobind, Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (Padang Rengas), Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (Larut), Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (Kota Baru), Lukanisman Awang Sauni (Sibuti), Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution (Kulim-Bandar Baharu), Datuk Darell Leiking (Penampang), Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (Sepang) and Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (Tuaran).

“For the PSSC, it is important for it to take into account views from all interested parties to ensure everyone is given the opportunity to be heard before a position is taken because it is important to each and everyone of us as voters.

“Another thing that needs to be emphasised is that this is a bill that needs to be tabled soon. PH’s position is that it needs to be tabled in a special sitting before the next parliament sitting, we are trying to push for it to be tabled by the end of May but as you know, there are suggestions for it to be done in early June,” added Gobind.