Read Federal Constitution in entirety, anti-hopping law opponents told

Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim says an anti-hopping law is needed to ensure moral principles are upheld in a parliamentary democracy.

KUALA LUMPUR: Parliamentarians opposed to passing an anti-hopping law due to its constitutionality should read Article 10 of the Federal Constitution in its entirety, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim says.

He said in a press conference at Parliament today that the house “may impose restrictions on the rights conferred under Clause 1, including freedom of association, for the security of the federation or any of its parts, public order and morality”.

Therefore, he said, Clause 1 of Article 10 was not conclusive and must be read alongside Clauses 2, 3 and 4.

Previously, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said an anti-hopping law would go against Clause 1(C) of Article 10 of the constitution, which provides for freedom of association for all Malaysians.

He was reported as saying that apart from amending the constitution, the election system would need to be changed and the related acts amended to accommodate an anti-party hopping law.

Arguing for the need of such a law, Hassan said national security and public order had been threatened when the Pakatan Harapan government fell in February due to MPs declaring support for the opposition.

“The issue of moral principles in a parliamentary democracy also arose when certain parliamentarians hopped, betraying the people who voted for them in the election,” he said.

Hassan also joined the chorus of critics questioning the political will of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to pass an anti-hopping law.

“It is highly doubtful that the PN government will do so as the PN government itself is built on party-hopping activities,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said there were growing calls within the opposition for an anti-hopping law. “But we know now there will be some legal hurdles,” he added.