Anti-hopping Bill to become law: Malaysian minister

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department also said that the Bill could become law by late August or early September.


July 14, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – The anti-hopping Bill to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday could become law by late August or early September, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) said this was possible following moves to fast-track the gazettement of the Bill once passed by both the lower and upper Houses of Parliament.

“Once passed by both Houses, the Bill will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Article 66 of the Federal Constitution between Aug 11 and Aug 26 for royal assent.

“Gazettement of the Bill is expected to take place between Aug 29 and Sept 2,” he said in a statement after chairing the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) on anti-hopping here yesterday.

He explained that the timeline for the passage of the Bill through Parliament was agreed upon by the PSSC and brought to the Cabinet’s attention yesterday.

He said according to the timeline, the Bill would be distributed to MPs on Monday and come up for debate on July 27 and 28, at the discretion of the Speaker.

“The first reading of the Bill in the Dewan Negara will be on Aug 9 and second reading on Aug 10,” he said.

Last month, Wan Junaidi said the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2022 to prevent party hopping would be tabled when the Dewan Rakyat begins its scheduled meeting on July 18.

The Bill was initially slated for tabling in March but was instead deferred to a special one-day sitting on April 11.

However, no vote was taken as there was some resistance from both sides of the political divide with regard to the definition of party-hopping and fear of abuse of the law. The Bill was instead referred to the PSSC for further scrutiny.

Wan Junaidi also said that engagements with MPs and senators would be held before the Bill comes up for debate in both Houses.

“Engagement by the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department and Attorney General’s Chambers with government MPs will be on July 25, and July 26 for Opposition MPs,” he said, adding that the session for senators is scheduled for Aug 8.

Meanwhile, PSSC member Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the bipartisan committee had concluded the task given to it by Parliament.

“I am happy to share that the PSSC on the anti-hopping law has concluded and we will submit the Bill to the House to be tabled. Another step closer to abolish Frogs Colony and towards dignified politics in Malaysia,” tweeted the Pengerang MP.

Azalina, a former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker, has been vocal against party hopping and submitted a motion for a Private Member’s Bill last September for a recall election law.

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