JOHOR BARU, Sept 23 — Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi today said that the state government remains clear on its support for the anti-party hopping law and will not reject its implementation in the state.
He clarified that the state government had only rejected the Opposition’s proposed establishment of a special select committee to deliberate on the enactment at yesterday’s state assembly sitting.
“The state government has never ignored the importance of the anti-party hopping enactment.
“We will continue to follow the correct process and legal channels in this regard, to ensure that the practice of democracy is guaranteed in Johor,” said Onn Hafiz in a statement this afternoon.
The Machap assemblyman was responding to allegations by certain Opposition leaders that the state government was rejecting the implementation of the anti-party hopping law for Johor.
Onn Hafiz said the closer it got to the 15th general election (GE15), the more slanders, accusations and deception are being made by the Opposition to fuel the people's hatred towards the state government.
“Among the evidence is the posting by DAP’s Kluang MP (Wong Shu Qi), which turns out to be another example of the Opposition's deception to incite the people in using the anti-party hopping enactment.
“Does the Opposition in Johor not know or pretend to not know the national legal process?” he questioned.
Onn Hafiz said the enactment implementation is also Johor BN’s commitment to the state as it was announced during the state election.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah will seek the approval of the respective State Rulers or Yang di-Pertua Negeri, before approving Section 6 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act (No.3) 2022.
“After this legislation comes into force at the state level, only then will the state amend the State Constitution in accordance with Section 6 of Act A1663 in relation to the amendment of the Eighth Schedule, which provides for the prohibition of party jumping,” explained Onn Hafiz.
Yesterday, Johor BN chief Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad stood by the state’s ruling coalition on its commitment to the anti-party hopping enactment that will be tabled soon.
He said Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) and Muda’s proposal for the special select committee on the enactment was unnecessary when the federal law underpinning it has already been approved by both the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.
Hasni, who is the former Johor mentri besar, was responding to Johor Opposition leader Liew Chin Tong who expressed frustration at the rejection of the committee proposed in a motion during the assembly sitting yesterday.
The constitutional amendment to prohibit the political defection of elected representatives was gazetted on September 6, but will not be enforced until a date is announced by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The federal gazette also said the portion of the law affecting assemblymen could be introduced in any state upon the agreement of its Ruler or Governor and the Agong.
Penang enacted an anti-party hopping law in 2012 while Sabah and Selangor have confirmed they will enact their own this year to be in line with federal law.