Anti-hopping law draft ready

PETALING JAYA: The draft of the proposed anti-hopping law is ready and the Parliament Special Select Committee (PSSC) is racing to table the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat in July, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Attorney General’s Chambers has submitted the draft to the committee, which will meet on May 19 after studying the draft in detail, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said in a statement yesterday.

ALSO READ: Azalina: Anti-hopping law a step forward for Malaysia

The bipartisan PSSC had met on Thursday to review feedback, including written submissions by non-governmental organisations, social and political bodies such as academic experts on the issue.

The government had initially intended to table amendments to the Federal Constitution to deal with the issue of party hopping during the Dewan Rakyat meeting in March.However, after much debate, the government fixed April 11 for a one-day special sitting to table the anti-hopping Bill.

The Bill was read and debated by lawmakers, who then agreed to refer the matter to the PSSC for further deliberation.

Several parties, including Umno, have linked the anti-hopping law to the July 31 deadline under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the government and Pakatan Harapan opposition bloc signed last September.

The MOU aimed to establish political stability amid the Covid-19 epidemic.

ALSO READ: 'Pakatan just buying time with MOU proposal'

On Monday, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said Pakatan was willing to negotiate with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on extending the MOU beyond July 31 if the anti-party hopping law is passed in Parliament.

The current administration has until mid-September next year to hold the next general election.

Wan Junaidi, who is also chairman of the PSSC, said the draft of the proposed law would also be tabled before the Parliamentary Steering Committee on political transformation and stability.

Also in the PSSC are Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang), Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (BN-Padang Rengas), Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (PN-Larut), Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Bharu) and Lukanisman Awang Sauni (GPS-Sibuti).

Other members are Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong), Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PH-Sepang), Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (Upko-Tuaran), Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution (PH-Kulim-Bandar Baharu) and Datuk Ignatius Dorell Leiking (Warisan-Penampang).

The Dewan Rakyat is scheduled to meet from July 18 to Aug 4.

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