In today’s session, the government proposed an amendment, seeking to add a new provision 3A under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution that would allow for the enactment of federal laws to restrict freedom of association in relation to membership in a political party by members of Parliament and state assemblymen. — Bernama pic
KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — A Sabah lawmaker questioned the purpose of today’s special parliamentary sitting to debate the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2022 which was tabled for a second reading today, to address the issue of party hopping among elected lawmakers.
In today’s session, the government proposed an amendment, seeking to add a new provision 3A under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution that would allow for the enactment of federal laws to restrict freedom of association in relation to membership in a political party by members of Parliament and state assemblymen.
However, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill on Anti-Party Hopping, which was originally scheduled to be tabled, debated and passed at the session today, has been postponed to another special sitting which is yet to be decided.
“We are debating today, not intended to stop and prevent the action of party hopping. Again, there is not a single word about party hopping in this amendment, either the Bahasa Malaysia or English version. Of the two proposed amendments, today, only one was tabled.
“Not only that, the proposed anti-party hopping Bill is also not on our tables. Therefore, why are we here? I thought that today’s special session was for the anti-party hopping Bill. Now we don’t know if there will be another special sitting or not.
“Why call us today? Why not do it together? Meanwhile, prime minister, the plane tickets from Sabah to Kuala Lumpur today are far more expensive than those to European nations,” Warisan’s Youth chief and Sepanggar MP, Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said.
Calls for legislation to curb party-hopping have grown louder since the collapse of the elected Pakatan Harapan federal government in 2018, which was triggered by the departure of several of its MPs, most of whom were from PKR and Bersatu.
The current government is led by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob from Umno and postponed tabling the Federal Constitution (Amendments) 2022 Bill on Anti-Party Hopping and Limiting the Tenure of the Prime Minister for a second time last Wednesday.
The Bill was supposed to be tabled last Monday, but de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the government needed more time to deliberate the definition of “party-hopping.”