KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — The proposed special parliamentary sitting to table and debate the highly anticipated anti-party hopping Bill will not proceed as that would cost over RM1 million, among other factors, Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said today.
In a statement, he said that the decision was made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and that the Bill will be tabled and debated in the scheduled July sitting of the Dewan Rakyat, which starts July 18.
“Several factors were considered during the discussion session with the prime minister, including the government’s financial savings in conducting the special parliamentary meetings for both Houses, which can be used for other matters such as aiding the people. In total, the total cost to be borne by the government is about RM1,077,600.00, not including operating costs if a special meeting of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara is held,” Wan Junaidi said.
He added that there are also many MPs who are participating in visits abroad currently until mid-July 2022, for programmes organised by Parliament, which cannot be delayed, as they involve other stakeholders.
He said that there are two Select Committees that will head overseas in early July until mid-July, namely the Finance and Economic Select Committee and the Security Select Committee.
Therefore, Wan Junaidi said that the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2022 relating to anti-party hopping, will be debated and tabled in the second meeting of the fifth term of the 14th Parliament 2022, starting July 18, 2022.
He said that the tabling of the Bill according to the calendar of the upcoming Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara sessions will give ample time for the Bill to be scrutinised by MPs before it is debated.
“This cannot be done if a special meeting is held. Apart from that, if a special meeting is held, it can only be held in mid-July 2022 in view of the absence of many Members of Parliament before mid-July,” he added.
Wan Junaidi said that the last meeting with the Special Select Committee looking into the Bill will be held soonest to finalise the statement on the matter, which has been prepared, and this statement will be tabled during the scheduled Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara sittings, together with the Bill.
The Bill aims to prevent MPs from hopping from one party to another for personal gain in order to maintain political stability.
If passed, a new provision 3A will be added under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution to restrict the freedom of association in relation to membership in a political party by elected representatives.
In April, Wan Junaidi said that a total of 39 MPs had jumped parties since the 2018 elections, jeopardising Malaysian democracy.
The resulting political instability saw Malaysia change prime ministers three times within the same term.