Law Minister: MPs sacked by party who later join another party are not party hopping

Wan Junaidi presenting his winding-up speech on the anti-party hopping bill in Parliament today (July 28, 2022).

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By Lian Cheng and Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 28: A Member of Parliament (MP) who is sacked by their party and goes through due process but who later on joins another party is not considered to be “switching party”.

Under the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022 on Provisions Preventing Members of Parliament from Switching Parties, commonly known as the “anti-party hopping bill” passed in Parliament today, MPs sacked by their parties and going due process of sacking are considered as “an exception” under the new amendment.

“The Special Select Committee has agreed and ensured that the sacking from a party will not be categorised as an act of ‘switching party’,” said de facto Law Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar during his winding-up speech today after more than 50 debates over the Bill in Parliament over the past two days.

He said the decision was made after taking into consideration three factors.

Firstly, the sacking may be caused by MPs exhibiting disciplinary issues or problems within the political party itself.

Secondly, sacking of an MP by a political party should be handled with a different approach so that no political party may abuse it, and thirdly, sacking of an MP is beyond the ambit of the Parliament.

On whether the position of an MP who uses the symbol of another political party in a coalition party can be considered to have switched parties, Wan Junaidi said the use of the symbol of a political party or a coalition has not been taken into account by the Bill.

“This means that if anyone uses the symbol of a political party, they will not be considered to have switched party if they return to their party or remain independent,” said Wan Junaidi when answering questions raised by MPs. — DayakDaily