Anti-party hopping bill focus of Parliament sitting to begin this Monday

15 Jul 2022 08:45am
The tabling of the anti-party hopping bill will be the focus of the Second Meeting of the Fifth Session of the 14th Parliament.
The tabling of the anti-party hopping bill will be the focus of the Second Meeting of the Fifth Session of the 14th Parliament.

KUALA LUMPUR - The tabling of the anti-party hopping bill will be the focus of the Second Meeting of the Fifth Session of the 14th Parliament which will be for three weeks beginning this Monday (July 18).

The draft of the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2022 and on provisions prohibiting Members of Parliament (MPs) from party-hopping will be laid on the table of the MPs this Monday for their reference.

According to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, in a statement two days ago, the bill is proposed for debate on July 27 and 28, subject to the discretion of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

Prior to that, he said, engagement session by the Legal Affairs Division and the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) with government MPs will be held on July 25 and with the opposition MPs on July 26.

Once passed by the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, the bill will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong between Aug 11 and 26 for His Majesty's consent and then to be sent for gazette between Aug 29 and Sept 2.

The bill was among the matters agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Transformation and Political Stability signed between the federal government and Pakatan Harapan (PH) in September last year as a form of bipartisan cooperation which upholds the spirit of the Malaysian Family (Keluarga Malaysia).

The issue on living cost is also expected to be a topic of discussion at this coming sitting, especially with PAS having proposed for a special Parliament session to be held to discuss the matter.

However, Wan Junaidi was reported to have said that there was no need to hold the special session as the MPs could submit motions on the issue during the Dewan Rakyat sitting to be held until Aug 4.

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Meanwhile, nine bills are expected to be tabled at this Parliament session for the second and third reading.

They are the National Forestry (Amendment) Bill 2022, Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Bill 2021, Offenders Compulsory Attendance (Amendment) Bill 2021, Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill 2021, the Malaysian Border Security Agency (Dissolution) Bill 2021, Poisons (Amendment) Bill 2022, Control of Padi and Rice (Amendment) Bill 2022, East Coast Economic Region Development Council (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill.

The coming Parliament sitting will also see whether there would be an election for the post of Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker to replace Pengerang Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

On Aug 23 last year, Azalina resigned from the post but continued to temporarily shoulder the responsibility of Deputy Speaker throughout the meeting of that session.

During the sitting on Oct 25, Wan Junaidi told the Dewan Rakyat that the election of Deputy Speaker would be postponed to the next meeting.

According to Wan Junaidi, the motion on this matter was originally listed under an Order Paper of the Second Meeting of the Fourth Session but was postponed to enable amendments to be made to Article 57 (1)(b) of the Federal Constitution to increase the number of Deputy Speakers from two to three.

Article 57 (1)(b) of the Federal Constitution states that the Dewan Rakyat shall from time to time elect two Deputy Speakers from among members of the House.

The coming Parliament session will also see Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, who announced leaving Bersatu last May 26, attending as a Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) representative.

Two other PBM representatives in the house are Julau MP Larry Soon @ Larry Sng Wei Shien and Tebrau MP Steven Choong Shiau Yoon.

With the Parliament session next week to be held during the transition to endemic phase, members of the house and staff will be required to adhere to the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOP), including wearing face mask in the building, but they no longer need to undergo Covid-19 test twice a week as was required during the last sitting. - BERNAMA

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