Malaysia’s Proposed Anti-Party Hopping Law – PM says ‘No’ to Special Sitting of Parliament (Update No. 5)

On 9 June 2022, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar announced that the members of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee that was tasked to review and prepare a draft of the Bill to stop party hopping by Members of the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) have unanimously agreed to request the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, to hold a special parliamentary sitting in the first week of July 2022 to debate the new law instead of waiting for the scheduled meeting of Parliament commencing mid-July 2022.1
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi has now issued a statement announcing that “[t]he Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has decided that there is no need for the government to hold a special one-day Parliament sitting to table the Constitution (Amendments) Bill 2022 related to (the) prohibition on switching parties by members of the Dewan Rakyat.”2
According to Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi, the Prime Minister decided to hold it when Parliament begins its scheduled meeting on 18 July 2022.3 Among the reasons for not holding a special sitting is the high cost of holding the one-day proceeding (estimated at approximately RM1.07 million excluding operational costs) and the absence of several Members of Parliament who will be abroad on official work.4
With the cries for Malaysia’s 15th General Election growing louder, it will be interesting to see whether this long overdue law will be given the priority it deserves at the forthcoming meeting of the Malaysian Parliament.
Update by Kok Chee Kheong (Partner) and Tan Wei Liang (Senior Associate) of the Corporate Practice of Skrine.

1 ‘Proposal to table Bill at special sitting in early July’, The Star, 9 June 2022.
2 ‘No special sitting in July’, The Star, 10 June 2022.
3 The next meeting of the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) is scheduled from 18 July 2022 to 4 August 2022 and the Dewan Negara (Senate) from 8 to 16 August 2022.
4 See footnote 2.

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