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Saturday, July 30, 2022

Sarawak’s dormant anti-hopping law gets kiss of life


Fadillah Yusof, who is works minister, at the opening of the Sarawak secretariat of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia in Kuching today. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: Sarawak’s dormant anti-hopping law may have got a kiss of life following the passing of federal legislation to outlaw party hopping among MPs.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB) senior vice-president Fadillah Yusof said that the state’s anti-party hopping provision may now be enforced, following an amendment to the Federal Constitution.

The state law had been held in abeyance as it would have been ultra vires the constitution before the amendment was approved by the Dewan Rakyat. The amendment must also be approved by the Senate and receive royal assent before it becomes law.

“It is now up to the Sarawak government to study whether to bring the law in line with the federal law or be content with what it already has,” Bernama reported Fadillah as saying.

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He said the Sarawak attorney-general will study the next steps to be taken following the Dewan Rakyat vote on Thursday. The bill was approved by a two-thirds majority.

In Kangar, Perlis menteri besar Azlan Man said the state legal advisor’s views will be sought on whether there is a provision in the state constitution to implement anti-party hopping laws.

“The bill approved by the Dewan Rakyat is comprehensive and can be used by all states, so I think there is no problem in implementing it at the state level but we will carry out a detailed study first.

“If necessary, we will only make improvements to the state constitution to incorporate this. Otherwise, we will introduce a new enactment that is in line with it,” he told reporters.

In Kota Belud, Warisan president Shafie Apdal said similar efforts to introduce anti-party hopping laws must be done in Sabah as party hopping has become rampant and has led to changes in the state and federal governments.

He said although the bill passed may require further improvements, particularly where clarity on its provisions was concerned, the achievement by federal lawmakers was still a good start to curb party hopping.

“Warisan will study the party constitution to ensure our struggles are in line with the bill and the Federal Constitution,” said Shafie, who is MP for Semporna and a former Sabah chief minister.- FMT

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