Penang’s anti-hopping law valid and constitutional – Federal Court
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 3 — The Federal Court seven-member bench today ruled that a provision under the Penang anti-hopping enactment is valid and constitutional.
Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who chaired the panel, said Article 14A of the Penang State Constitution is not void as it is consistent with Article 10 (1) (c) of the Federal Constitution.
Article 14A of the Penang State Constitution states that a state assemblyman shall vacate his seat if having been elected as a candidate of a political party, he resigns or is expelled from a party or having been elected otherwise than as a candidate of a political party, he joins a political party.
On April 12 this year, Judicial Commissioner Azizan Md Arshad allowed an application by the Penang State Legislative Assembly (PSLA) and its speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang to refer questions to the Federal Court to hear and decide on the constitutionality of the state’s anti-hopping enactment.
The PSLA and its speaker want the Federal Court to decide on the question of whether Article 14A of the Penang State Constitution is void as it is inconsistent with Article 10 (1) (c) of the Federal Constitution.
Four assemblymen, Zulkifli Ibrahim (Sungai Acheh), Afif Bahardin (Seberang Jaya), Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq (Bertam) and Zolkifly Md Lazim (Telok Bahang) had filed three writs of summons in 2020 against the State Legislative Assembly and its speaker to challenge a motion introduced in October 2020 for the four to vacate their seats and by-elections be held.