Bukit Gantang, Gua Musang MPs say would stand firm even if Bersatu closes party-hopping loophole

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 — Two Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) MPs today said they would maintain their support for the prime minister even if their party were to amend its constitution to close the loophole that allowed them to do this without triggering the anti-hopping law.

Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal said the move to amend the party constitution simply showed that Bersatu was afraid more of its lawmakers wanted to support Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s government.

“So, to prevent the Bersatu MPs from making decisions to support the prime minister, the Bersatu top leadership decided to amend the (party) constitution to disallow this, because before this, there was no mention of if you support someone else apart from Bersatu you will be sacked.

“For us who have given our support (to the prime minister), we will see what happens with the amendment, and if it’s brought to court, we will challenge it,” Syed Abu told a joint-press conference with Bersatu Gua Musang MP Mohd Azizi Abu Naim here at the Parliament building today.

The Bukit Gantang MP in November declared support for Anwar and his administration. He was the fifth out of six Bersatu MPs who announced the support for the Anwar Ibrahim administration.

He said then that his decision was based on his plight to help elevate the condition of his constituency.

“Yesterday, it was said in Parliament (by Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan) that there are efforts to persuade, offer and reward, accusing the prime minister indirectly for being the culprit of these efforts.

“As we have said, our support is sincere, and we clearly are not receiving any rewards as we gave our support simply to help our respective constituencies.

“So, I would like to stress that no one should use Parliament as a place to carried out their political accusations that are baseless, enough,” Syed Abu said.

Mohd Azizi also said that since it was already into the second year of their term, it is time that the Bersatu MPs serve the people in their respective constituencies.

“Tasek Gelugor MP’s statement that was hurled in Parliament is not true and are mere accusations, because our support for the prime minister is sincere and what happened yesterday was uncalled for,” he said.

When asked to elaborate on a timeline of when “more Bersatu MPs are likely to announce their support for the Prime Minister, Syed Abu said he was unable to say so.

“But there are (MPs), except now the Opposition bloc has carried out efforts to prevent MPs from voicing their support (for the Prime Minister), including what Tasek Gelugor did yesterday.

“I can only speak on my behalf, that I offered my support after thinking for a year on the Opposition bloc, there was nothing beneficial for us.

“So I’m prepared, instead of me retracting my support (for the Prime Minister) and support them who can’t do anything, I’d rather the people who decide (on his fate),” Syed Abu said.

On a related matter, Syed Abu said he was qualified to be the National Action Council on Cost of Living (NACCOL) chairman.

“The post was given to me based on my experience and it is proven by through the Jualan Murah initiative I did.

“And I’m not paid for the position. No allowance or salary, so what rewards are people referring to?” he said.

When met separately, Bersatu Srikandi vice-chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the party amendment to prevent defection among its elected representatives would not have a retrospective effect on the six Bersatu MPs who shifted their support for the prime minister.

She said it would be unfair if there was a law subject to implications for MPs after the constitution amendment was approved.

“By right there should not be any retrospective effect, it should not be... laws will be unfair if there is (retrospective effect on them).

“As what I understand, there will be no effect (retrospective effect). No matter what it is let’s wait for the Bersatu annual general meeting this Saturday.

“Among the amendments (that will be made) include those in relation to MPs who have given their support for the Prime Minister. Let’s look at the decision, how it will be,” Mas Ermieyati said.

Apart from Syed Abu and Mohd Azizi, the other Bersatu MPs are Tanjong Karang MP Datuk Zulkafperi Hanafi, Jeli MP Zahari Ketchikan, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid and Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman.