Develop effective, accountable
and transparent institutions
While the prevalence of party-hopping frustrates and angers many Malaysians, leading to a national consensus for some Anti-Hopping Law (AHL) before the 15th General Election (GE15) at all costs, the issue is complex and deserves some humble and prudent deliberations. Party-hopping is just symptomatic of political changes and potentially instability, the management and treatment of which must take precedence of fixing the symptom.
The Traditional AHL, as implemented in India and Singapore, and once enacted in Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan and Penang, seeks to remedy and deter hopping, although it cannot stop it. Another newly-invented mechanism – Anti-Hopping Recall, a limited-grounds recall mechanism – was filed by the MP of Pengerang, YB Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said under the form of a Private Member’s Bill as an alternative to the Traditional AHL. The debate on how should party hopping be deterred and which mechanism is the best fit for Malaysia’s democracy is not settled yet although the Parliament is expected to pass such law within the 5th Session of the 14th Parliament, due to the commitment made by the Ismail Sabri’s government and the Pakatan Harapan – largest opposition bloc in the House.
This paper aimed to provide a conceptual analysis related to party-hopping, its relation with the AHL related mechanisms and electoral system and its connection with the MPs’ duties [explained in Sections 1-3], a policy and legal analysis on the major issues related to AHL-mechanism including the authors’ recommendations and proposed draft for constitutional amendment [explained in Sections 4-11], and several connected policy recommendations that not just curing the symptom but tackle the root-causes of unwanted party-hopping [explained in Section 12].
Download the report here.
This paper is also attached as one of the parts in the authors’ written submission to the Parliamentary Special Select Committee to Review the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2022 and the Provision to Restrict Members of Parliament from Party Crossing, a Dewan Rakyat’s committee established on 11 April Dewan Rakyat special sitting.