Labuan MP vows to keep backing PM Anwar no matter what Bersatu says

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman said he would not withdraw support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s government even if his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia orders him to do otherwise.

The renegade Bersatu lawmaker said, however, that he has not received any instructions from the party over the matter.

“I checked my email and I did not receive anything. I called two of my colleagues and they told me they have yet to receive anything,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today, referring to others who also technically defected.

“But I’m not afraid, even of the ‘special instruction’. Whatever it is, I will continue to back the government and Anwar.”

Yesterday, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said that its seven rogue lawmakers would have 14 days to respond to party “instructions” or their membership would be revoked.

Hamzah said the group have been given additional "instructions” compared to its other lawmakers, but he did not elaborate

He said the party issued the instructions variously through email, courier, and by hand.

On May 9, Hamzah confirmed that Tanjong Karang MP Datuk Zulkafperi Hanafi and Selat Klang assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari, who were seen campaigning for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate for the Kuala Kubu Baru by-election, have automatically lost their party membership and must vacate their seats as a result of their stunts.

Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin subsequently said it was not "logical for them to remain Bersatu members while campaigning for rivals.

Abdul Rashid and Zulkafperi are among the seven Bersatu lawmakers who crossed the political aisle and stated support for the PH-Barisan Nasional pact.

The other five Bersatu MPs who expressed their support for Anwar were Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar).

The group were able to retain their seats due to a loophole in the constitutional amendment against political defections.

On March 2, Bersatu successfully amended the party’s constitution to prevent its representatives from defecting in the future, with the change also accepted by the Registrar of Societies.