PETALING JAYA: There is no need for a one-day special Dewan Rakyat sitting to table the proposed anti-hopping law early next month, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
The decision is due to cost factors and the need for the required presence of Members of Parliament to approve constitutional amendments to finally put to end the incidence of party hopping.
“The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has decided, as head of the House, that there is no need for the government to hold a special one-day Parliament sitting to table the Constitution (Amendments) Bill 2022 related to prohibition on switching parties by members of Dewan Rakyat,” the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said in a statement yesterday.
He said the Prime Minister decided to hold it when Parliament begins its scheduled meeting on July 18.
Among the reasons was the high cost of holding the one-day proceeding and the absence of MPs who will be abroad on official work.
“Overall, the government will have to bear an estimated cost of RM1.07mil, not including operational costs if the special sitting is held for both Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara,” he said.
Besides this, he noted that several MPs had prior engagement abroad in the first week of July.
“As an example, the special select committee on finance and economy including the committee on security will be away between early and mid-July,” he added.
Based on composition, the two select committees are made up of some 20 MPs.
On Wednesday, Wan Junaidi announced that the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) had finalised the draft of the proposed laws for Cabinet’s approval including a recommendation to hold the special one-day sitting in the first week of July.
Dewan Rakyat is scheduled to begin its meeting this coming July 18 until Aug 4.
On June 2, Wan Junaidi announced that the proposed anti-hopping law would be done by way of constitutional amendments through the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2022.
He said there was no need for a separate specific law to deal with party hopping.
Among the proposed amendments to the Constitution is that a by-election is to be held within 60 days if an MP party hops or voluntarily resigns from his party under the proposed anti-party hopping law.
Also to be amended is Article 10 on freedom of association aimed at preventing party hopping and, a new Article 49A where a “casual vacancy” would occur if an MP party hops, resigns from his party or if an elected independent MP joins a party.
A two-thirds majority in Dewan Rakyat is needed to approve the constitutional amendments.