Pn Mps Backing Anwar Vs Anti Hopping Law What Now
The move by two Perikatan Nasional MPs to declare support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has raised questions about how the country's anti-hopping mechanisms function and whether it is effective.
This comes as the anti-hopping provisions under the Federal Constitution, an MP does not automatically lose their seat for simply backing a prime minister that is not from their party.
Under Article 49A, an MP who was elected as a member of a party will only lose their seat if they stop being a member of that party.
However, MPs who are sacked from their parties, are exempted from losing their seat.
This was affirmed by former law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar when the anti-hopping provisions were debated in Parliament in July 2022.
"An MP who gives his or her support to another party is not considered as party hopping. This is because the MP is still a member of his or her political party," he was reported as saying.
Kuala Kangsar MP Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul KhalidThis is the case with Kuala Kangsar MP Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid and Labuan MP Suhaili Abdul Rahman, who both announced support for Anwar - who is from PKR - without quitting Bersatu.
Both said that they support Anwar in order to get allocations to help their constituencies.
Some parties have moved to plug this loophole by amending their party constitution, in which a rogue MP who goes against the party is considered to have "resigned" - thus triggering the anti-hopping act.
Labuan MP Suhaili Abdul RahmanHowever, Bersatu has not introduced such a clause into the party's rules yet.
Even if it did, there are questions about whether such a clause would hold up if brought to court, and whether "automatic resignation" is not considered expulsion.
What this means is that even if Bersatu took disciplinary action or sacked Iskandar and Suhaili - who is a party supreme council member - they would remain lawmakers.
There is also no remedy for voters who supported the duo.
For this, the country would have to introduce recall elections, which would allow voters to initiate action to trigger a by-election.
It is of note PN won with less than 50 percent of votes in both Kuala Kangsar (40.2 percent) and Labuan (28.6 percent) due to quirks in the first-past-the-post electoral system. - Mkini
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