by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic TMR FILE
MALAYSIAN lawmakers voted in favour of a new law that prohibits politicians from switching parties within six months of elections.
The Anti-Party Hopping Bill (Amendment) Bill (No 3) was passed by the Dewan Rakyat today, with 209 MPs voting in favour, while 11 MPs were absent.
The bill seeks to amend Article 10 of the Federal Constitution by adding new paragraphs (c) and (d), which state that no member of the House of Representatives shall be permitted to change parties after the dissolution of Parliament and before the general election unless the party he or she belongs to is dissolved.
It also provides that no MP shall be permitted to change parties after the general election until the dissolution of the House of Representatives.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (picture) said the amendment would help prevent MPs from jumping ship and joining a rival party, thus weakening the Opposition.
He agreed that the amendment was necessary as it would ensure that the party system remained strong and stable.
“I strongly agree with the statement of Kota Raja (Muhammad Sabu), who has raised a lot points about the morality of a member of the House of Representatives.
“Here I would like to state how important it is for a member of the lower house to follow their own conscience in making decisions, especially in a parliamentary democratic system.
“This is something that I always emphasise in all my engagement sessions with all stakeholders,” he said in his winding up speech.
“With the permission of the speaker, I would like to repeat Edmund Burke’s statement, ‘All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter’.
“I would like to emphasise that in the discussion and engagement process that was held by the Special Select Committee starting last April 2022, the spirit of tolerance and willingness to negotiate were applied so that we could reach a consensus in the drafting of the bill, as the honourable members saw today,” he added.
Wan Junaidi noted that the approval obtained by the Dewan Rakyat was only the first step.
“I would like to thank the 54 MPs who participated in the debate session on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No 3) 2022 in the committee.
“All suggestions and views by the MPs are greatly appreciated and will be given due attention,” Wan Junaidi further said when wrapping up the debate on the bill.
The halls of Parliament are filled with excitement and anticipation. MPs are eager to hear what the Dewan Rakyat has to say about the proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution.