The claim by law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar that there is a lack of consensus on the term “anti-hopping” which implies that it may be difficult to finalise and pass the proposed anti-hopping law in the near future is baseless and suggests that the government is stalling on its promise to implement such a law pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding inked with the opposition last year.
The said MOU was entered into on a strict understanding that various reforms would be implemented by the government, particularly in relation to party hopping which caused the fall of two governments since GE14.
No doubt, there may be various permutations as to what amounts to party hopping but certain basic examples stand out which can be addressed now in the proposed anti-hopping bill.
Instances of individuals leaving their respective parties to join other parties in power or those who become independent but friendly to those parties in power are clear examples of individuals leaving one party to another for their own ulterior motives.
Such clear instances of party hopping can be outlawed now by the introduction of anti hopping laws and the necessary amendments to the Federal Constitution.
In fact, I did not see anyone objecting to such instances on account of them being contrary to the definition of party hopping at the meetings I attended with other stakeholders when discussing the proposed amendments.
I am of the view that one of the main reforms which must be introduced pursuant to the MOU is the said anti hopping law which must be tabled at the next sitting of Parliament at the end of this month, failing which there will be a serious erosion of public confidence as to whether such a reform will ever see the light of day.
A failure by the government to do so suggests that it lacks the political will to introduce such laws urgently and casts serious doubts as to whether it really intends such a law to be passed, which justifies the opposition rethinking its continued participation in the MOU.
Dated this 17th of February, 2022.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LEGAL BUREAU
DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY