KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today clarified in the Senate the three main criteria, as contained in the Administrative Draft of the Bill on the Constitution (amendment), which define the holidays of a deputy.
He said the first criterion is when an MP announces that he is leaving the political party for which he stood in an election to become an independent member or join another political party.
“The second is when a deputy is expelled from the political party. This is to ensure that MPs abide by the constitution, as well as party rules and regulations.
“The party that sacked the MP concerned risks losing its seat and an election will have to be held again,” he said in response to a question from Senator Datuk John Ambrose.
Ambrose wanted to know what steps had been taken and what plans had been drawn up for the implementation of the anti-hopping law.
Wan Junaidi said the anti-hopping law would also apply to independent MPs who announced their joining any political party after their victory.
He said it was because the action of the MP is seen as a breach of the trust given by the people because in the election the people voted for him/her because he/she was a candidate independent, instead of the other candidates.
“If an MP is free to join any party, an election must be held again and the individual is not disqualified from standing for the new party within 60 days of being removed from office (as as an MP) and the matter will be announced by the Dewan Rakyat as required by Article 1 of Article 54 of the Federal Constitution,” he added.
Wan Junaidi said that with the enforcement of the anti-jumping law, party-hopping could be prevented with the requirement of re-election to ensure that the mandate is returned to the people in case of party-hopping by MPs.
However, he said, in a situation involving the dissolution of a political party, his MP would not be considered party jumping when he joined another party. — Bernama