Malaysia: Anti-hopping bill hits a snag

  • De facto law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has reportedly confirmed that the proposed anti-party hopping bill will not be tabled during the special parliamentary sitting on Monday.
  • “Yes it has been deferred,” The Star quoted him as confirming a cabinet decision. Nevertheless, the Dewan Rakyat sitting slated to be held on 11 Apr 22 will still proceed, where a constitutional amendment that would facilitate the future introduction of the anti-hopping bill will be introduced.
  • In the meantime, Wan Junaidi reportedly told The Star that the anti-hopping bill has been sent back for more studies to be conducted on the definition of “party hopping”.
  • Several sources familiar with the matter told Malaysiakini earlier that the cabinet resolved in the morning to instead table a bill to amend some portions of the Federal Constitution that would enable a full-fledged “anti-hopping” legislation in the future.
  • The 11 Apr 22 special Dewan Rakyat sitting, said sources, is expected to otherwise proceed as planned. Putrajaya has briefed MPs several times on the contents of the bill and sought feedback.
  • However, the details of the bill are yet to be fully publicised. Meanwhile, Free Malaysia Today reported that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is expected to chair a meeting with all MPs and senators on 10 Apr 22 regarding the bill.
  • “The act itself won’t be tabled on 11 Apr 22. Once the Federal Constitution is amended, the Act would no longer require a two-thirds majority,” the portal quoted unnamed sources as saying.
  • The report said the government has no plans to abandon the bill but wants to iron out several issues first such as the definition of “hopping”.
  • Among other provisions that need to be amended for the bill to take effect was Article 10(1)(c), which guarantees every citizen the freedom of association.
  • The bill was a key component of Ismail Sabri’s confidence-and-supply agreement with Pakatan Harapan.

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