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Anti-hopping law expected to be in force next month, says Wan Junaidi

Publish date: Tue, 16 Aug 2022, 05:55 PM

PUTRAJAYA: The anti-hopping law, following the amendments of Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, is expected to be in force by the second week of September.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the bill, which was recently approved by the Dewan Negara, would be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before its gazettement.

With the passing of the new law, members of parliament (MPs) will lose seats should they decide to leave their current party.

"We are looking at seeking royal assent for the law, as well as for its enforcement, done together at one time. 

"Within the period after the bill was approved by the Dewan Negara (on Aug 9) and its gazettement, I can't say if there are MPs seeking to change parties. They can do so before the law is gazetted," he said at his office here today.

Engagement sessions with state governments would be held to ensure uniformed guidelines on dealing with defectors, he added.

He said four states had already implemented similar anti-hopping law, namely Sarawak, Sabah, Penang and Kelantan.

"The people's representatives were elected by voters under the umbrella of their respective parties. When they jump ship, they are no longer eligible for the seat they won in elections."

The anti-hopping law was one of the demands made by the opposition in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri.

Wan Junaidi said the other proposed legislations – the two-term limit for prime ministerial office, the revival of the Parliamentary Services Act to allow freedom for Parliament to run its affairs and amendments to parliamentary standing orders – were still in the works.

"The government is on the right track in meeting conditions set in the MoU. I can say that we are now at 70 to 80 per cent in fulfilling the demands. I am happy to stand on the same ground, with the same wavelength with the prime minister in this aspect.

"One of the first things the prime minister did when he came into office was to call opposition leaders to get, and respect, their views. At the end of the day, we must make decisions for the benefit of the people."

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