KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — States that have passed similar laws banning their elected representatives from switching parties mid-stream can only enforce it after it takes effect at the federal level, de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Wan Tuanku Jaafar said today.
Wan Junaidi also said that the date for the enforcement will be announced by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“For the MPs’ information the Constitution (Amendment) Act (No.3) 2022 [Act A1663] regarding the prohibition of members of the House of Representatives to change parties has received the approval of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI on August 31, 2022 and was gazetted on September 6, 2022.
“However, the effective implementation of Act A1663 is postponed to a date to be determined later, subject to the approval of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI,” he said in a written parliamentary reply to Rasah MP Cha Kee Chin.
The DAP lawmaker had asked for the latest status of the anti-party hopping law for each state after the Federal Constitution amendment.
He also asked for a list of the states that disagreed with enacting a similar law and their reasons for not falling in line with the federal law,
But Wan Junaidi only gave the states that welcomed the anti-party hopping law, naming Perak, Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan.
The anti-party hopping law was passed by more than two-thirds of the Dewan Rakyat in July as a response to the “Sheraton Move” of 2020, when political defections caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.
The collapse led to Perikatan Nasional coming to power unelected, before being forced to yield last year to the Barisan Nasional that was voted out in the 14th general election.
The new amendments will cause MPs and assemblymen to lose their seats if they switch parties, or if they join one after being elected as an independent.
There are three exceptions, namely the dissolution or cancellation of the registration of the politician’s party; the expulsion of the politician from his party; or the politician resigning from his party upon becoming Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat or his respective state assembly.