By Free Malaysia Today
A proposed constitutional amendment to allow for anti-hopping legislation “is too wide”, an MP said last night.
Subang MP Wong Chen from PKR, said that the amendment bill contained a provision that was “too wide” which “must be tightened and narrowed to the context of anti-hopping only”.
He posted a copy of the draft amendment, and claimed that the provision would allow federal law to supersede the constitution.
Article 10 of the Federal Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to freedom of association. However, it also empowers Parliament to restrict this right on grounds of national security.
The proposed amendment contains a new clause that provides the power for federal laws to be enacted to restrict the membership in a political party of MPs and state assembly members.
The government has said that the constitution must be amended to provide the power to enact an anti-hopping law, which opposition parties have clamoured for.
A lawyer, New Sin Yew, described the proposed amendments as being “very dangerous”. He claimed that it would allow the government “to abuse its power to control other political parties”.
The constitutional amendment is scheduled to be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat on April 11. The anti-hopping bill was originally scheduled to be tabled on that date but has been postponed after differences of opinion in the Cabinet.
Earlier, PKR’s Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said the proposed anti-hopping law might be seen as providing “too much power” to party bosses, as the law would punish those who leave the party as well as those who are sacked by the party.
“It could be perceived as giving too much power to the political parties,” she said.