KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022, on prohibition of members of the Dewan Rakyat party-hopping, will be tabled for the first reading at the Dewan Negara on August 9.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he hoped that the bill could be enforced starting in the first week of September, according to the schedule.
“This law begins when it is passed by the Dewan Negara, (then) we will present it to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, for royal assent,” he said in a press conference at the Parliament building here today.
Wan Junaidi added that the bill gives freedom (leeway) to the states, whether they want to adopt it or otherwise.
“Similar to the Undi-18 Bill, states can choose to adopt (the eligible age for election candidates at 18) or not. We give freedom for states to adopt this bill, even though there are laws that we can use for states to use it.
“Currently, four states adopt this (anti-hopping) law, namely Kelantan, Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan and Penang. There are nine more states, if these states feel this is the best, we hope they will use it,” he said.
However, he said that he will hold an engagement session with the state governments to persuade them to gazette the bill.
Among the provisions included in the bill is the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, with the permission of the states’ rulers, to make this law applicable at the state level through a gazette.
Wan Junaidi also expressed his appreciation to all parties involved in realising the bill, including the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
The amendment to the Federal Constitution, to create a provision prohibiting MPs from changing parties or committing party-hopping, was passed after it received two-thirds majority support from the Dewan Rakyat today, thus making history that will change the political landscape of the country.
Through bloc voting, 209 out of the 220 MPs voted in favour of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022, while 11 others were absent.