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Anti-Party Hopping Bill: Wan Junaidi satisfied with cooperation by Opposition members, legal experts

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar speaks to reporters in Kuching March 13, 2022. — Bernama pic

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KUCHING, April 24 — De facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he is satisfied with the cooperation by opposition members and legal experts in the ongoing dialogue to draft the Anti-Party Hopping Bill.

“You see, we interacted with many Members of Parliament (MPs) and there were a lot of ideas. But at the end of the day, we have to see it as a matter of principle, like what are the particular principles that people will agree with,” said the Santubong MP.

He was speaking to reporters after a breaking fast with the less fortunate from the Santubong parliamentary constituency at a local hotel here tonight.

Wan Junaidi said that many people did not really understand the challenges in drafting a law that would be passable in the Parliament but an unprecedented level of exhaustive consultations were underway for the Bill.

“We really study deep into the laws and people like Gobind Singh Deo from Democratic Action Party (DAP), Datuk Sri Azalina Othman Said and Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz from Umno, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan from Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) are on the parliamentary select committee.”

Wan Junaidi said the personalities on the parliamentary select committee boasted respectable credentials, including having a strong background in law and a long legal practice.

“We believe what we come up with the Bill later will be quite acceptable to most of the people in Malaysia but challenges remain ahead.”

Compared with the constitution amendments surrounding Malaysia Agreement 1963, he said drafting the Anti-Party Hopping Bill was more complex as his team had to avoid contravening Article 10 of the federal constitution, which covers freedom of association.

He said his team had studied relevant laws from other countries like the United Kingdom, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and India, but remained conscious of the uniqueness of the Malaysian federal constitution.

He said the process in drafting the Bill was tedious as some quarters worried that it would open the door for abuse of power by the government in the future if it was not properly drafted and worded.

“But we don’t want the Bill to be too loose also as that would otherwise be meaningless (in passing the Bill in the first place),” he said.

Nonetheless, Wan Junaidi assured that discussions and dialogues sessions were constantly held so that MPs would have a better understanding of the Bill to be tabled. — Borneo Post

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