Law minister: Party hopping not an offence until Constitution says so

Shahrin Aizat Noorshahrizam
·2-min read
Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, the minister in charge of law and Parliamentary affairs, said that Penang's anti party-hopping law will not be effective as it is against the Federal Constitution. — Bernama pic
Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, the minister in charge of law and Parliamentary affairs, said that Penang's anti party-hopping law will not be effective as it is against the Federal Constitution. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 8 — Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan has insisted that until the Federal Constitution amended, MPs and assemblymen are allowed to shift their allegiances between political parties.

Taking the example of Penang Anti Party-Hopping Bill, the minister in charge of law and Parliamentary affairs said that the state’s law will not be effective as it is against the Federal Constitution.

“Like the law that exists in Penang but cannot be implemented even if some people jump parties because the court ruled that the act in the form of anti-party hopping is not valid and contrary to the Constitution,” he was quoted saying in Malay daily Utusan Malaysia.

Any attempt to amend the Federal Constitution needs the approval of two-thirds majority of the Dewan Rakyat.

According to Section 14A of the Penang State Constitution, any member who ceases to be a member of the party one represents at the Election shall for any reason vacate one’s seat.

The newspaper mentioned that four Penang assemblymen have denounced their support for Pakatan Harapan (PH) government last year — namely Bertam’s Khaliq Mehtab Mihd Ishaq, Teluk Bahang’s Zolkifli Md. Lazim, Seberang Jaya’s Afif Bahardin and Sungai Acheh’s Zulkifli Ibrahim.

This comes as last month, Julau MP Larry Sng and Tebrau MP Steven Choong confirmed that both have defected their party and declared support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin announced the defections shortly after photographs of him with Sng and Choong emerged online.

Three Johor Parti Amanah Negara assemblymen also joined PKR over alleged dissatisfaction with their former party’s state leadership: Senggarang assemblyman Khairuddin A. Rahim, Muhamad Said Jonit (Mahkota) and Faizul Amri Adnan (Serom).

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