Special Parliament sitting proposed for early July to table anti-party hopping law

PETALING JAYA: A one-day special sitting of Parliament is being proposed next month to table and pass the anti-party hopping law, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

“The Parliament Special Select Committee (PSSC) has unanimously agreed to request the Prime Minister, in line with Standing Order 11(3) and House rules, that a special Parliamentary sitting be held in the first week of July (for the purpose),” the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said in a statement on Wednesday (June 8).

Wan Junaidi, who is in charge of Parliament and Law, said this was agreed by the PSSC during a meeting on Tuesday (June 7) to finalise the proposed anti-hopping draft laws for Cabinet approval.

ALSO READ: Cabinet has no objection to anti-party hopping law

Last Thursday (June 2), Wan Junaidi announced that the proposed law would be implemented by way of Constitutional amendments as there was no need for separate specific laws on the matter.

Among the proposed amendments is that a by-election is to be held within 60 days if a Member of Parliament (MP) party hops or voluntarily resigns from his party.

Also to be amended is Article 10 of the Federal Constitution on freedom of association aimed at preventing party hopping.

A new Article 49A would be introduced where a “casual vacancy” would occur if an MP switches parties, resigns from his or her party, or if an independent MP joins a party.

ALSO READ: Law minister confident of majority vote for anti-hopping law

A total of 39 elected representatives have switched parties since the last general election in 2018 resulting in political instability and the collapse of several state administrations.

Last September, the government inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Pakatan Harapan to initiate reforms that includes tabling proposed anti-hopping laws in Parliament before July 31.

On April 11, the Dewan Rakyat held a special one-day sitting to table amendments to the Constitution for the purpose of dealing with party hopping.

However, no vote was taken, with the proposed laws referred to the PSSC for further refinement.

The Dewan Rakyat is scheduled to meet from July 18 to Aug 4.

Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi said the PSSC had responded to several policy questions raised by the Cabinet on the proposed draft laws.

He added that the committee will be holding its final meeting soon.