KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — A new chapter towards a better political future for the country was forged during the second week of the Dewan Rakyat sitting when the House passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022 to provide a provision that prohibits Members of Parliament (MPs) from changing parties with a two-thirds majority.
The result of the bloc vote saw 209 out of 220 MPs voted for the motion. The remaining 11 MPs were absent.
With the amendment to the Federal Constitution passed, it clearly signals that the people remain the country’s biggest stakeholders through votes in general elections and that the political mandate should be respected.
The last time the Dewan Rakyat got the support of more than two-thirds majority was when the 2022 Constitutional Amendment was passed last March, which among others seeks to provide for the non-application of Article 119 to the Rulers in relation to voter registration..
The bill to amend the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 sought to add Article 119A stating that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can set an exception to any Ruler and his consort, any Yang Dipertua Negeri and his consort, any heir apparent, heir presumptive, and other heirs of a Ruler and their consorts from being registered as voters automatically to remain neutral and not in favour of any political party.
The focus for the week also included the motion to extend Subsection 4(5) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 (SOSMA) (Act 747) for it to remain in force for another five years from this July 31.
The motion brought by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin was passed after bloc voting in which 111 MPs voted in support and 88 MPs against. A total of 21 MPs were absent.
Among other things, the subsection stated that a police officer with the rank of Superintendent, or higher, can extend the detention period for up to 28 days for investigation purpose.
The Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill 2020, which aims to improve integrity, reduce misconduct among police officers and increase public confidence in the security forces was also passed by the Dewan Rakyat.
Apart from that, the Dewan Rakyat also passed the Housewives Social Security Bill 2022, which aims to guarantee the social well-being of housewives, families and communities through the Housewives Social Security scheme (SKSSR).
During the week, the Dewan Rakyat also passed the Courts of Judicature (Amendment) Bill 2022 , the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the Employment Insurance System (Amendment) Bill 2022.
For the coming week, the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill 2022, which among others, provides for the prohibition of individuals born in 2007 onwards, from smoking, buying or possessing tobacco products or smoking devices, will be among the bills to be tabled.