Party amendments to prevent switching of allegiance can be challenged in court

Wan Junaidi Jaafar says only the RoS can determine if the said amendment is valid or not. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 19, 2024.

DEWAN Negara president Wan Junaidi Jaafar said that any effort by political parties to amend their constitution, to prevent their members, particularly MPs, from switching allegiance to the opposing side, may be subject to legal challenges.

He said that such amendments require approval from the Registrar of Societies (RoS). Additionally, he suggested that the government should consider amending the Anti-Party Hopping Act to address existing loopholes.

“When a party decides on an amendment, only the RoS can determine if the said amendment is valid or not. However, ultimately, it is the courts that can rule if it (amendment) is adequate (fulfils legal requirements).

“In this case, an amendment to the law is preferable to address the matter, as it provides a more detailed and direct legal framework, rather than relying on explanations elsewhere,” he said.

Wan Junaidi was speaking to reporters after attending the “Bicara Tokoh” talk organised by the National Council of Professors that discussed the topic “The Anti-Party Hopping Act and Government Stability” in Kajang today.

Also present was council president Prof Dr Raduan Che Rose.

Umno secretary-general Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki last week said that the party’s constitution amendment in January last year prevents its MPs from defying party decisions, including throwing support to anyone for the post of prime minister.

In addition, Umno MPs who joined any “coalition” not affiliated with the party would also automatically lose their membership, he said.

At the same time, the constitutions of DAP and Amanah also state that any of their elected representatives who defy the party’s instructions on fundamental issues will automatically lose their membership. – Bernama, January 19, 2024.

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