KUCHING: The 15th General Election (GE15) should only be held once the proposed anti-party-hopping law is in place, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
“To me, it’s better if we implement the law first before having the general election, because we don’t want what happened in 2020 to happen again.
“If the law is not ready when we have the election, elected representatives could be hopping left and right after that,” he told reporters at a Hari Raya gathering for his constituents here yesterday.
The Santubong MP was referring to the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government in 2020 after a number of MPs jumped parties to form a new administration.
Wan Junaidi also said the parliamentary special select committee on the anti-hopping law, which he chairs, had not reached a final decision in its fine-tuning of the Bill.
He said the committee was scheduled to meet again on May 12.
“This is a powerful committee with experienced legal experts, so I am confident we can resolve whatever issues there are with the proposed Bill,” he said.
He added that once the scrutiny was complete, it was up to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to decide when the Bill would be tabled in Parliament, whether in the coming July session or at a special sitting earlier.
On another matter, Wan Junaidi said the landmark Federal Court decision on the unconstitutionality of “ouster clauses” would not affect Sabah and Sarawak’s autonomy under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“This has nothing to do with MA63. The target is not the autonomy of Sarawak and Sabah but the executive’s decisions which cannot be challenged in court,” he said.
On April 25, the apex court ruled that “ouster clauses” – which protect decisions by the executive from judicial review – were unconstitutional, intruded into judicial power and violated the doctrine of separation of powers.
Wan Junaidi said he would meet the Attorney-General on May 9 to discuss the Federal Court’s decision as it had wide-ranging implications.
He said at least 60 laws in Malaysia had ouster clauses, which could possibly be challenged in court following the ruling.
“This means the executive has no absolute power in these matters. For example, if the Sarawak state government decides not to allow certain persons from Peninsular Malaysia to enter Sarawak and that person can challenge the decision in court, then the state government’s power in this matter is no longer absolute,” he said.