Navigating Party Loyalty and Party Hopping in Malaysia Through Nordin Salleh and Khaliq Mehtab’s Cases

  • Hershan @ Ray Herman Department of Law, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sabah Branch, 88997, Kota Kinabalu Campus, Sabah, Malaysia.
  • Muhammad Izwan Ikhsan Department of Law, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sabah Branch, 88997, Kota Kinabalu Campus, Sabah, Malaysia.
  • Ku Mohd Amir Aizat Ku Yusof Department of Law, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sabah Branch, 88997, Kota Kinabalu Campus, Sabah, Malaysia.
Keywords: Party hopping, Freedom of association, Party defection, Party loyalty, Democracy


This article delves into the intricate dynamics of party loyalty and its implications for political stability in Malaysia, with a specific focus on party hopping. This study applies a doctrinal approach by examining statutory provisions, courts’ judgments and secondary sources. Through a detailed analysis of two landmark cases – Nordin Salleh and Khaliq Mehtab – this study uncovers the underlying challenges within Malaysia's political landscape. The analysis illuminates the judicial position in Nordin Salleh and the departure in Khaliq Mehtab’s cases; to which contrasting judicial positions were taken by the then Supreme Court in the former and the Federal Court in the latter. In light of these findings, the study underscores the critical need for robust and adaptable political institutions capable of withstanding such disruptions, thereby fostering a stable and resilient democracy. Furthermore, this study draws attention to the 2022 constitutional amendment addressing party hopping, acknowledging it as a positive step towards enhancing stability. However, it also highlights the existing gaps in the reforms, particularly in light of the pending application in court. In conclusion, this study posits that the constitutional amendment represents a commendable effort to advance political stability, but its efficacy remains to be seen.


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How to Cite
Herman, H. @ R., Ikhsan, M. I. and Ku Yusof, K. M. A. A. (2023) “Navigating Party Loyalty and Party Hopping in Malaysia Through Nordin Salleh and Khaliq Mehtab’s Cases”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 8(10), p. e002572. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v8i10.2572.