by FAYYADH JAAFAR / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is in support of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No 3) 2022 regarding party hopping activities, and hopes that it will get a two-thirds vote in the Dewan Rakyat.
However, he believed that certain conditions must be met before the bill can be implemented.
During today’s Parliament session, the Langkawi MP said the bill is necessary as the country has previously witnessed how a coalition of parties that won the people’s mandate in the general election had to give up their seats in the government due to an episode of party jumping.
However, Dr Mahathir said for certain situations, there should be room for elected representatives to change parties, given that it is highly likely that no single party will be able to obtain at least 50% of Parliament seats to form a government.
“There are parties with less than 50% and in that situation, if a minority government is formed, then the Dewan Rakyat can overthrow it by simply voting no confidence in the party that has made the government.
“In that case, we can hold a general election again, but that is no guarantee either, therefore, jumping parties should be allowed, so that the number is enough to make a majority government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir remarked that the law had not been respected when there were convicted MPs who were still free to attend the sitting.
“And now we are amending the country’s laws and constitution because there are people in the government who are jumping to the opposing side.
“This means that there is no democracy in our country because the losers have won, and vice versa,” he added.
He said this was the reason he supported the amendment, hoping that the government that obtained the people’s mandate would not change arbitrarily due to party-hopping activities.
To clarify the laws barring MPs and State Assembly Members from changing parties, PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob introduced the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No 3) 2022, for the second reading, earlier today.
Minister in the PM’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar first introduced it on April 11, 2022, for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.
Ismail Sabri, who introduced the legislation, said that its stated purpose was to revise and update the Federal Constitution.