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Bill on anti-party hopping to be tabled in Malaysian parliament soon, law could come into force by September

Bill on anti-party hopping to be tabled in Malaysian parliament soon, law could come into force by September

A file photo of the Malaysian parliament. (Photo: Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: An anti-party hopping Bill will be tabled when Malaysian parliament sits from next Monday (Jul 18) and if passed, the law could come into force by September, said de facto law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. 

In a statement released on Wednesday, Dr Wan Junaidi said the bipartisan select committee formed to look into the enactment of anti-party hopping law had finalised the draft bill and examined the draft statement on Wednesday.  

The Bill and the committee’s report will be laid on the MPs’ tables next Monday, he said. 

“The plan is for the Bill to be debated on Jul 27 and Jul 28 in the Lower House, but this is at the discretion of the Lower House speaker,” he said. 

A two-thirds majority is needed to pass the constitutional amendment.

Dr Wan Junaidi added that once the Bill is passed at the Lower House and Upper House, it will be presented to the king between Aug 11 and Aug 26, and that the law could be gazetted between Aug 29 and Sep 2. 

He also noted that some Cabinet members had raised questions regarding the Bill and these queries have been addressed by the select committee. 

The anti-party hopping bill was one of the key terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the current government under Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition in September last year.  

In April, the parliament approved a motion in a special sitting to set up a select committee to look into the establishment of the anti-party hopping law. 

When tabling the motion, Mr Wan Junaidi said a total of 39 parliamentarians had switched political allegiances and three prime ministers had been appointed to the post since the 2018 general election.

“This is a clear sign that our country’s democratic practices are unhealthy and at a worrying level,” he had said.

The Lower House will meet from next Monday until Aug 4. 

Source: CNA/am(tx)

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