Anti-hopping Bill: Discussions, findings presented to PSC protected under OSA, says Wan Junaidi

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. - Filepic/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Discussions and findings that were presented to the parliamentary select committee (PSC) are protected under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), says Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the PSC on the anti party-hopping Bill met for the first time on April 15 and they will meet for the second time on Thursday (April 21).

"Members in the PSC had asked me whether (the meeting) is protected under the OSA.

"So, decisions made by any PSC, cannot be revealed, unless it is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat itself, as then, it will be a public document," he said in his speech during a ministerial breaking of fast event at Times Square Hotel on Wednesday (April 20).

Wan Junaidi also said as someone observing the law and parliamentary standing orders, he will not reveal any details about the PSC meeting.

"That is why I’m silent. I can’t comment because I cannot reveal (further). I don’t need publicity," added Wan Junaidi, whose portfolio is in charge of law and parliamentary affairs.

Speaking to reporters later, Wan Junaidi said despite being appointed to chair the PSC meetings on the anti party-hopping Bill, he has not interfered with the direction of the meeting.

"I only provided guidance and most ideas came from MPs who attended," he said.

Wan Junaidi was also confident that the findings by the PSC will be ready in about a month.

"God-willing, because that is the track record," he added.

Wan Junaidi also said the current line-up of PSC members on the proposed anti party-hopping Bill had adequate legal talents such as Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Gobind Singh, and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, among others.

"We were also assisted by senior officers in the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) who have 20 to 30 years of experience.

"So, I hope Malaysians will accept the fact that we have enough expertise to draft legislation," said Wan Junaidi.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has the prerogative to determine which day the anti party-hopping Bill will be tabled in Parliament.

"This falls under Standing Orders 11(3). Once the PM has made his decision, he will write to the Dewan Rakyat and Senate Speaker," added Wan Junaidi.

The anti party-hopping Bill was expected to be tabled in the next Parliament meeting that begins from July 18 to Aug 4.

On April 11, the Dewan Rakyat passed a motion to set up the PSC to scrutinise the proposed Constitution (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2022 aimed at paving the way for the anti-hopping Bill to be tabled in Parliament.

The committee was headed by Wan Junaidi and consist of 10 other MPs, namely Azalina, Nazri, and Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

Others are Kota Baru MP Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, Sepang MP Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, Kulim MP Datuk Seri Saifudin Nasution and Penampang MP Datuk Darell Leiking.

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