KUALA LUMPUR: The move to have an Anti-Hopping Bill is a historic milestone for the nation's political stability, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).
“The Bill is a historic moment for the country because it was established through negotiations and discussion by both the Opposition and Government,” he said.
He said that the tabling of the Constitution (Amendment)(No.3) Bill 2022 is as historic as the previous Amendment made regarding the Malaysia Agreement 1963 which had earned the full support of "big-hearted" parliamentarians.
He said the Bill should send a “clear message” to all lawmakers to hold on to the principle of the political parties they represent and to uphold the mandate and confidence bestowed to them by voters.
He hoped that the Bill will be passed with the unanimous support of lawmakers, adding that it will take no less than two-thirds of the House or a minimum of 148 votes to pass the bill.
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Ismail Sabri said the Bill aims to ensure political stability and prevent the country from undergoing a never-ending state of political crisis.
Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun said about 600 minutes have been allocated for the debate of the Bill.
Ismail Sabri said the government views seriously “defection”, “party jumping” and “floor crossing” which has created public debate recently.
“This is because it involves the mandate and confidence of the people who chose them as their representatives to represent them in the Dewan Rakyat,” he said.
The amendment comprises four paragraphs and six clauses.
Among them is a clause that MPs who defect from the political party they represented as election candidates or those who became independent will have to vacate their Parliamentary seats.
However, there are exemptions for MP’s who change political parties when their former parties have been deregistered, or if they are appointed to become Speakers of the House.
MPs who are sacked from political parties will not lose their seats.
The Third Reading is expected to take place on Thursday (July 28).