Law minister: Anti-hopping law to enhance political stability, public confidence

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said an anti-hopping law was required to enhance political stability, public confidence in the democratic process as well as to ensure respect for the decision made by the electorate. ― Bernama pic
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said an anti-hopping law was required to enhance political stability, public confidence in the democratic process as well as to ensure respect for the decision made by the electorate. ― Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — There is an immediate need for law reform, including the anti-hopping law to ensure confidence and good governance in Malaysia.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said an anti-hopping law was required to enhance political stability, public confidence in the democratic process as well as to ensure respect for the decision made by the electorate.

“Some countries like India, Singapore and the United Kingdom have the anti-hopping or anti-defector law or amendments to the related laws including the constitution that provides for expulsion or vacation of seats of the hoppers.

“In Malaysia, we need proper and adequate engagement on what is actually required for our country. This, I must say is not an easy task as politicians and political parties all have their own views and opinions on this matter.”

Wan Junaidi said this in his special ministerial address of “Parliamentary and Legal Reforms Towards Enhancing Governance and Economic Prosperity” at the 2021 Asia Economic and Entrepreneurship Summit conducted virtually today.

“Limiting the prime minister’s term to not more than 10 years is another important reform as it provides reassurance to the people that no one person can stay in office for too long, as well as reducing the possibility of corruption and other malpractices like nepotism and cronyism,” he said.

According to Wan Junaidi, such a reform would allow for a change in leadership policy-making and provided an opportunity for fresh ideas and healthy competition while strengthening democracy.

Meanwhile, he said the Election Commission was working hard to ensure that the 18-year-old voting age and automatic registration of voters could be done within the given time frame, and that included amending the subsidiary legislation and ensuring the logistical and infrastructural requirements all over Malaysia were in place.

He said the other law reforms would include constitutional amendments in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 as his focus as the minister in charge of law was to look at substantial legislative amendments to the Federal Constitution which would provide clarity to the position of Sabah and Sarawak.

Touching on parliamentary reform, Wan Junaidi said it was important for the Parliamentary Services Act to be re-enacted, allowing full independence for Parliament and ensuring that the august house upholds the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judiciary.

“At the same time, it will allow laws to be better scrutinised where parliamentary democracy is maintained through the strengthened Parliamentary Select Committees,” he added.

Wan Junaidi also said that there was a need to amend the House of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 since it could be considered an archaic law.

On another note, he said transformation in the government sector embodied noble values and solidarity across religious, racial and cultural backgrounds in the context of “Keluarga Malaysia” (the “Malaysian Family”).

“Malaysia’s immediate priority is to sustain the management of the ongoing pandemic and its effects on individuals, households and businesses.

“Thus, protecting the lives and health of citizens is vital to ensure a safe resumption of economic activities and the prevention of a protracted economic downturn,” said Wan Junaidi. — Bernama

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