Malaysia Chronicle

Malaysia’s lower house parliament building is seen in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020. Malaysian new Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin narrowly won a motion to boot the parliament speaker Monday, scraping through the first test of his support nearly five months after he took power. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

PUTRAJAYA: A proposed law to ban party-hopping by MPs is to be tabled in Parliament in July, says Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Ismail said a parliamentary select committee will be formed to draft the anti-hopping law which will include representatives from the government, opposition and possibly academicians with expertise on the matter.

He said there are also proposals for the new law to cover senators, but this is subject to approval of the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.

“There is no intention to not table or delay the tabling of the anti-hopping bill,” he told reporters in Putrajaya.

Opposition politicians had accused the government of seeking to avoid tabling the bill after the government announced that a constitutional amendment, instead of the anti-hopping bill, would be tabled at a special sitting of Parliament beginning tomorrow.

The government said last week that the amendment to the Constitution would be tabled first to enable a federal anti-hopping law to be enacted later.

The prime minister’s announcement came after a briefing was held for MPs and senators about the proposed constitutional amendment. He dismissed claims that there had been any boycott by opposition MPs, who had held a separate briefing on the same issue.

The parliamentary affairs minister, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said in a separate statement that four opposition MPs had attended the briefing. The four comprised two members each from DAP and Warisan. They were Wong Kah Woh (Ipoh Timor) and Dr Kelvin Yii (Bandar Kuching) both DAP; and Rozman Isli (Labuan) and Ma’mun Sulaiman (Kalabakan), both of Warisan.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil confirmed with FMT that a separate briefing was held by the opposition bloc led by Anwar Ibrahim. “All representatives of the opposition were in attendance, including those from Pejuang, Warisan, and Muda,” he said.

The tabling of a constitutional amendment related to the bill will take place on Monday, to ensure that the proposed anti-hopping law would not contravene the Constitution.

Yesterday, communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa denied claims of conflict among Cabinet members regarding the anti-hopping law.

He said the Cabinet had chosen to amend the Federal Constitution first, following the advice of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, so that the new anti-hopping law would not contravene the Constitution.

The anti-hopping law is part of a package of reforms negotiated between the opposition and Ismail’s government in exchange for not causing the government to fall through a confidence motion.  TMI

Pakatan to decide on Article 10 amendment after meeting PM tonight

PAKATAN Harapan leaders will meet Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob tonight before deciding its support for the controversial constitutional amendment that will be tabled in Parliament tomorrow.

The coalition was undecided on whether it would support the government’s proposed amendment to Article 10 (3) which will allow Parliament to limit the freedom association for elected lawmakers, various sources told The Malaysian Insight.

“We just received the blue bill for the constitutional amendment after 4pm today and there are still some concerns,” said one of the MPs after Pakatan held a meeting to discuss the amendment today.

As a result of that, Pakatan leaders will be meeting Ismail Sabri at a buka puasa function in Putrajaya to clarify the amendment, said the source.

Another source told The Malaysian Insight the existing wording of the amendment is “too open-ended”.

“We want it to specify the conditions where a elected lawmaker is bound by this amendment,” said the source.

“Pakatan MPs will decide after meeting the PM tonight,” he added.

At around 4pm today, the government sent out the blue bill (finalised version of the constitutional amendments) to MPs.

According to the bill, the government will amend Article 10 by inserting clause 3a.

The clause reads, “Notwithstanding paragraph c of Clause 2 and 3, restrictions on the right to form association conferred by Clause 1c relating to members in a political party of MPs and assemblymen may be imposed by federal law”.

Earlier today, electoral watchdog Bersih suggested a new article should be added to define party hopping, but also state that expulsion from a party is not part of this definition.

Critics have slammed this proposed amendment, saying it gives the government too much power to control political parties, while failing to specifically address the problem of party-hopping.

Pakatan has 89 lawmakers and their failure to vote tomorrow would result in Ismail Sabri failing to get the required two-thirds vote to amend the constitution.  TMI




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