THE main purpose of the Constitution (Amendment) Act (No. 3) 2022 (Article 10) is to create an enabling provision as a SOURCE of POWER for the Anti-Party Hopping Bill to be tabled as soon as possible in this House.
The main policy maker for my party, namely Umno, had unanimously approved a motion during its general assembly on 19 March 2022 that reads ‘urging for the transformation of political institutions, including the Anti-Hopping Bill and Political Funding Act be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat as it will strengthen our Parliamentary institutions and State Legislative Assemblies’.
As early as December 20, 2018, I personally urged on the social media for the PH government to table the Anti-Hopping Act for 3 reasons:
First: It spoils our democracy
Second: An act of betrayal to voters
Third: It violates party ethics
I also suggest 4 things in 2018, namely:
First: If party-hopping happens, it could lead to a by-election.
Second: Those who jump are not allowed to contest the by-election.
Fourth: States should also enact this law.
That was my proposal in 2018 which I reiterated on 30 August 2021 (before the Government signed an MoU with PH on 13 September) for the Keluarga Malaysia government to implement. I also mentioned that Malaysia would be one of the best examples of democracy if this Act was approved. Do not tarnish the democratic mandate of the people and stop party-hopping.
On this date, April 11, 2022 will go down into our national history because this House of Representatives will move on its first major effort. It begins today.
In the Federal Constitution (Article 10) is freedom of speech, assembly and association. Yet there is no such thing as a truly absolute right as Parliament can restrict for any reason permitted by the Constitution. The Court has stated that Parliament may impose the necessary restrictions on reasonable grounds.
Parliament can restrict this rights by enacting laws if necessary or appropriately beneficial for 3 main purposes:
First: National security
Second: Public order
Third: Moral principles
The restrictions proposed today are aimed only at Members of the House of Representatives, Members of the Senate and Members of the State Legislative Assembly.
In the ballot papers during the GE and PRN, there is a list of numbers, names of candidates and logos of the parties contesting. Voters have opted by stamping in the blank to the right of the name and logo of the party the candidate contested. The highest number of votes won determines the winner.
So, whoever wins with the mandate of the people’s should stay in the party.
I hope the Anti-Hopping Bill will be tabled as soon since it was urged many times in the past few months. I suppose party-hopping can be interpreted as:
First: different political parties in the same coalition;
Second: different political parties in different coalitions;
Third: Free to be a politician;
Fourth: Members of political parties coming out as Independents
Decisions have to be made in the Select Committee.
Next, there should be exceptions in the interpretation of party-hopping, for example:
First: Dissolution of the party or cancellation of registration;
Second: After the merger of his original party with other parties (merger of political parties)
Third: If the MP becomes Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, or the ADUN becomes the speaker of the DUN.
Fourth: Whether if a person who is expelled from his party should be exempted after an interpretation is made for example in court, or any conciliation of parties.
Fifth: Should Senators be exempted? There are 2 methods of appointing Senators, namely the consent of The King and the appointment of the State Legislative. It is proposed that Senators from any political parties be included and not excluded in the AHL (Anti-Hopping Law) Act.
The political stability of the country is highly dependent on the firm stand of the members of this House. Thus, political stability will essentially exist with the amendment of the Constitution today, which details shall reach the Parliamentary Select Committee.
DATUK SERI AHMAD MASLAN
(Speech debating the Constitution Amendment (No.3) at the Dewan Rakyat, 11 Apr 2022)