KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Parliamentarians who are against the anti-party hopping law and are intending to stall it will be risking rejection by voters in the coming general election, said PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil.
He warned MPs against standing in the way of the new Bill, adding that voters might question their purpose of voting in the coming 15th general election (GE15) if the Dewan Rakyat fails to pass the Bill.
In a FMT news report published today, Fahmi said voters may ask why they should come out to vote if the anti-party hopping Bill is not passed.
“Those MPs who vote against the Bill or don’t come out to vote for it will have some explaining to do,” he told the news portal.
The report was responding to speculation that a handful of influential and senior politicians are against having the anti-hopping law in place before GE15 so they can purportedly lure newly-elected MPs to their side or jump ship to the winning side and continue to be in power.
It cited a prior news report, quoting an unnamed source, that MPs from Perikatan Nasional (PN) lynchpin Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and its ally PAS were likely to attempt stalling the Bill.
However, it pointed out that most other MPs from Umno, Pakatan Harapan (PH), GPS and GRS were in favour of the soon-to-be tabled legislation.
The report, quoting another source, added that the new law had overwhelming support and could be passed easily with a two-thirds majority even if Bersatu, PAS and a group of Umno MPs voted against it.
Klang MP Charles Santiago said hesitancy on the part of MPs to pass the Bill could be a sign of their lack of confidence in facing GE15.
“Perhaps they don’t feel confident going into GE15. So, they’re using every opportunity not to sign on to the anti-party hopping Bill because that might exclude them from the government,” he told FMT.
Santiago said he believed that those thinking of blocking the Bill were preparing their next move, swayed by the thought that GE15 would be a close race, with no single party or coalition achieving a comfortable victory.
Akademi Nusantara’s political analyst Azmi Hassan warned those intending to block the Bill that the voters would “severely punish” them.
He attributed Bersatu’s losses in recent state elections to the party hopping that made the “Sheraton Move” possible, leading to the fall of the then PH federal government.
Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the anti-party hopping Bill would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat when the new meeting begins this coming Monday.
He said the Bill and was expected to be gazetted by September 2 once it was passed by Parliament.
The anti-party hopping Bill was initially slated for tabling in March but was instead deferred to a special one-day sitting on April 11.
However, no vote was taken as there was some resistance from both sides of the political divide with regard to the definition of party-hopping and fear of abuse of the law. The bill was instead referred to the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) for further scrutiny.