KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — DAP today announced that it is planning to amend its party constitution to protect itself from "loopholes” in the anti-party hopping Bill that was passed in Parliament last week.
Party secretary-general Anthony Loke said that the proposed amendment will call for the automatic sacking of members who do not go along with the party's decision in "very specific” matters.
"These are matters such as the selection of the prime minister, or in regards to the Budget vote,” he said In a press conference at the DAP headquarters here.
Loke said that this is because under the new law, an elected representative who is sacked from a party is not considered to have hopped parties, and therefore does not need to vacate his or her seat in Parliament or the state assemblies.
"What we worry about is that the representative does not leave the party, but does things so that the party fires the representative.
"If there are the [planned] conditions in the party constitution, then it is between the party and the individual. If they lose their party membership then their seat needs to be vacated,” he said.
Loke added that although previously the party did ask their elected representatives to sign agreements to a similar effect as the planned amendment, these agreements were not sufficient as the representatives can later claim that they were made to sign the agreements while "under duress”.
He said that an amendment of the party constitution would have a stronger influence as these are overseen by the Registrar of Societies and Societies Act.
The proposal was made following a central executive committee meeting on Monday, which will now be studied by the party.
DAP will hold a special congress on September 25 to discuss the proposed amendment, which is being formed by its party amendment committee that is led by Stampin MP Chong Chien Jen.
To note, the official name for the anti-party hopping Bill is the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022 on Provisions Preventing Members of Parliament from Switching Parties.