KOTA KINABALU, May 25 — The Sabah State Assembly is set to pass amendments today to prevent politicians from party-hopping in the future.

The Bill is the final Bill in the four-day sitting.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the amendments will end the political instability that has been inundating the state.

“The party hopping polemic has become a much debated issue and has eroded the voter’s faith in politicians and State Assembly,” said Hajiji while reading the Bill today.


“We hope to pass the Bill unanimously because this involves the people’s mandate and trust in their representatives of the State Assembly,” he said.

The State Constitution mostly follows the federal anti-party hopping law with the exception of a clause relating to the appointment of the chief minister.

According to a copy of the Bill given out, the Bill seeks to delete clause (7), Article 6, which will allow any member of the legislative member to be appointed chief minister if he can command the confidence of the majority of the house.


He does not have to be the leader of the political party with the most elected representatives.

Previously the clause states that the leader of a political party that has won a majority of the seats of the assembly was deemed as the member of the assembly who is likely to command the confidence.

According to the explanation provided, the provision “is no longer relevant in the current state of affairs”.

The new Bill seeks to insert a new clause, Article 17 (A) into the State Constitution which states that any assemblyman who resigns from his party will have to vacate his seat. The same shall apply to an independent assemblyman who is looking to join a political party.

“The words' ‘member of a political party’ shall also include an assemblyman who is not a member of a political party that forms a coalition, but is a member of that coalition,” reads the Bill.

The seat is not deemed vacant if the political party dissolves or is cancelled, an assemblyman is expelled or is appointed as Speaker.

A state assemblyman will also not have to vacate his seat if his political party leaves a coalition to join or form another coalition.

The Bill today also seeks to delete clause 5 of Article 17, which states that an elected member who resigns has to wait for a period of five years to be re-elected. He may immediately seek re-election.

The Bill requires two-thirds or 53 of the 79 assemblymen in the House to pass.