Bandar Kuching MP: Define party hopping in Federal Constitution to avoid abuse of power

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, April 11: The term ‘party hopping’ must be defined explicitly in the Federal Constitution to avoid abuse of power, such as disqualifying an MP by a simple majority vote.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said that while he supported the decision to refer the proposed amendments back to the select committee to be refined, he believed that it must be done with all the necessary safeguards.

“If not, any government in the future can simply change the definition of ‘hopping’ to disqualify an MP by a mere simple majority vote which every government will have. This is a clear abuse of power, and we cannot allow this door to be opened.

“That is why I strongly believe that if all parties agree with the Anti-Hopping Act, it should be inserted in the Constitution itself and not as a separate Act,” he said in a statement today.

He further urged the committee to develop the refined agreements as soon as possible as the majority of the ‘leg work’ has been done by the steering and technical committee for the past six months.

“So there is no more excuse for it to be delayed longer than it is supposed to be,” he added.

Earlier today, the federal government and Pakatan Harapan (PH) reached an agreement to refine the definitions of restrictions for elected representatives to switch parties as stated in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

The meeting also reached a consensus to abolish Article 48(6), which states a person who resigns his membership of the Dewan Rakyat shall be disqualified from being a member of the Dewan Rakyat for five years, and other amendments which were deemed necessary and to formulate a specific anti-party hopping law to prevent members of Dewan Rakyat from switching parties. ― DayakDaily