July 30, 2022
The intention of four states to amend their respective state Constitutions to enable the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022 to be enforced at the state level is said to be a healthy step towards strengthening democracy.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who welcomed such a move, said that he had been informed that four states would amend their Constitutions, namely Sabah, Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan.
He said that when the law is enforced later, it would not compel any state to adopt it, and the states are given freedom on whether they want to follow the move or not.
“We at the federal government will not take this power from the states.
“Amendments have been made to the Eighth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, with the inclusion of Clause 1, where the validity of this provision at the state level can only be made after obtaining the consent of the Rulers or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri,” the minister said in a statement on Saturday (July 30).
On Thursday, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022, to create a provision prohibiting Members of Parliament (MPs) from changing parties, received the support of more than two-thirds of MPs, with 209 out of 220 MPs being in favour.
On Friday, Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun reportedly said that the state government had no problem with amending the state Constitution to allow the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022, related to the prohibition of party-hopping, to come into force.
Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi said he will hold an engagement session with all states to explain the merits of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No 3) 2022.
“If the state governments see it as a good move, then they will follow the steps.
“Cooperation from the states is seen to enable the Bill, related to the prohibition of elected representatives from changing parties, to be standardised and enforced at the state level before the 15th general election,” he said.
Wan Junaidi also said that an engagement session with members of the Dewan Negara is expected to be held next month, which is before the first and second readings.
“After obtaining the approval of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, the Bill will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, under Article 66 of the Federal Constitution, for royal assent and then for it to be gazetted,” he added.