PM: Under Anti-Hopping Bill, MPs who leave their party will lose their seat

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Under the Anti-Hopping Bill, any MP who leaves a political party in one coalition to join another, whether in the same coalition or a different one, will lose their seat, said the prime minister today.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this was because under the Bill, the term “Member of the House of Representatives” refers to membership of a political party regardless of whether said outfit is part of a coalition or not.

“The membership of a Member of the Dewan Rakyat in a coalition party will not be taken into account because the main policy question that forms the basis for the drafting of this Bill is that Members of the House of Representatives belong to a political party,” he said when tabling the Constitutional Amendment for the Bill in Parliament today.

Asyraf Hamzah/NST

Ismail Sabri added that under this new law, any MP who leaves the party with which they won their seat will lose said seat should they decide to defect to another party.

He said, however, that there were exceptions to the rule; for example, an MP will not lose their seat if their political party was dissolved or deregistered; if they are elected as Dewan Rakyat Speaker; or if they are sacked by their political party.

Ismail Sabri today tabled four constitutional amendments in order for the Bill to be come into effect.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun had allocated 600 minutes for the debate with 35 MPs selected to take part. – MMO