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PRIME Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be informing all state governments to amend their respective state constitutions in line with the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) on the provisions that prohibits MPs from switching parties.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this when winding up the debate on the bill in the Dewan Negara today.
“I have discussed with the prime minister that after we passed this bill in the Dewan Negara, the prime minister will send a letter to all states, as raised by the senators, so that we standardise the amendment in all states,” he said.
“(This includes) states that have made amendments or have not yet made amendments to follow our schedule, as mentioned in the constitutional amendment, so that each state will standardise (its constitution) with what we done at the federal level.”
The Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022 obtained the support of 52 of 60 senators after two bloc votes, which is more than two-thirds of Dewan Negara.
Dewan Negara president Rais Yatim, when announcing the matter, said seven senators were not present.,
Wan Junaidi said the provisions prohibiting members of the state legislative assembly from switching parties will only come into force in a state on a date set by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong with the consensus of the respective sultans or governors.
“We see the importance of the state assembly being given its own independence on the decisions that the sultan or yang di-pertua negeri will make in the state after consultation with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, only then can we standardise the matter, because this is also contained in this amendment,” he said.
Earlier, during the debate session, the senators described the bill as being able to restore the people’s confidence in the country’s parliamentary democracy system.
Among them were Arman Azha Abu Hanifah, Razali Idris and Susan Chemerai Anding.
Arman said at present, the people’s trust in political institutions and leaders is low because the actions of some representatives of the people in switching parties had disrupted the stability of the country.
“This bill can give confidence to the people and the voters because the people will be more confident in the existence of a government that is protected from a turmoil due to MPs switching parties,” he said.
“Voters will be more confident in their choice because they know that the elected representatives will not jump parties after this… this matter is important because without the confidence of the people, many may not want to vote in the 15th general election (GE15).”