The Malaysian government on Monday, April 11, 2022, tabled a constitutional amendment bill in the hope of enacting an anti-hopping law (AHL) later, despite the administration’s attempts to stop political defections being plagued by delays and uncertainties.
At a special sitting scheduled to discuss the issue, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar filed a change to Article 10 of the federal Constitution to introduce what he called an “enabling provision” to enable future anti-hopping legislation in a special sitting.
The issue of the constitutional amendment and the former law minister, Datuk Seri Azalina, became the top issues of the anti-hopping law topic from March to April.
In Malaysia, a slew of local non-government organizations has written to promote the passage of an anti-hopping law.
A legislation like this is designed to prevent Malaysian lawmakers from abandoning their political parties and overthrowing governments, as we saw in February and March of 2020.
According to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, a suggested rule forbidding MPs from changing parties would be submitted in Parliament in July 2022.
As claimed by Ismail, a parliamentary select committee would be formed to develop the anti-hopping law, which will include members of the government, opposition, and possibly academics with experience in the field.
It indicates that most of the public supports the anti-hopping law amendment. Most of them despise the fact that there had been hopping politics in the state legislature before this. There was also a netizen that gave a recommendation to further strengthen the forthcoming bill.
Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, appeared to rank first on 11 March–10 April and between 4–10 April 2022 for influencers that make frequent statements regarding the anti-hopping law topic. Lim Guang Eng, former Chief Minister of Penang, was also spotted as an influencer who gave more than 200 statements related to the issue.
Media wise, Sinar Harian is the most active media in reporting the possible new law.The media had sustained in the top media list for the month and weekly period. Interestingly, English news report less on these issues, with only FMT and The Sun appearing in the top media list.
Regarding the topic of Anti-Hopping Law amendment that will be tabled in July 2022, Dewan Rakyat Malaysia Organization become the first in the list of organization of Anti-Hopping Law topic for both periods. Most public Twitter accounts are mentioning the Dewan Rakyat since the Special Meeting of the Fifth Term of the Fourteenth Parliament of the Dewan Rakyat was held recently.
The wordcloud shows the phrases of the Anti-Hopping Law topic on 11 March–10 April 2022. It illustrates that the most frequently used phrases were about anti-hopping laws and the Bill that will be tabled in July 2022.
On the other hand, the states of Kelantan, Sarawak, and Melaka have also become the phrases of the Anti-Hopping Law topic as there are tweets that mention these states and relate them to this hot topic.
The wordcloud above illustrates the individuals’ names in the Anti-Hopping Law topic that was dominated by Wan Junaidi and Azalina Othman. Meanwhile, Anthony Loke, DAP Member of Parliament for Seremban, gets his name mentioned negatively by the public.
The headlines in the news excerpt for April 10, 2022, were all about the amendment of the Anti-Hopping Law Bill, which is likely to be tabled in July 2022. Regardless, the headlines also claim that a member of Parliament who changes parties should resign.