KUALA LUMPUR: Article 10(1)(c) of the Federal Constitution, which provides for the freedom of speech, assembly and association, must be amended if a law to check party hopping were to be enacted, the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday.
Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Laws) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said Article 10(1)(c) clearly stated an individual’s freedom to form associations.
“If the Federal Constitution (Article 10(1)(C)) does not allow all citizens to form associations, only then can we enact a law concerning party-hopping individuals,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the royal address on behalf of his department.
He said besides amending the Federal Constitution, the existing general election system had to be changed and the related acts amended to accommodate an anti-party hopping law.
On the issue of automatic registration of voters aged 18 years, Takiyuddin said the Election Commission was making preparations to implement it in line with amendments to Article 119(4) of the Federal Constitution, which had been approved by Parliament earlier.
He said the preparations include amending the Election (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002, and other related laws, the standard operating procedure and the system and infrastructure for voters aged 18 years and automatic voter’s registration.
On the review of electoral boundaries raised in Parliament previously, Takiyuddin said the redelineation exercise was completed for the Malay States in 2018, while for Sarawak it was done in 2015, and Sabah in 2017.
“In this matter, the eight-year gap for a review of Sarawak boundaries will end in 2023, Sabah in 2025, while the Malay States in 2026,” he said.