Rogue Bersatu MP: We won’t vacate our seats; no guarantee of RoS approval for party rules’ changes

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — An MP today insisted that he would not be stepping down voluntarily as lawmaker for his parliamentary seat, despite Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) decision today to change the political party’s constitution to cause him to lose his seat.

National daily Berita Harian today reported Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal as pointing out that there is no guarantee that the Registrar of Societies (RoS) would approve Bersatu’s bid to change the party’s rules. A political party can only change its rules if the RoS approves such amendments.

Syed Abu Hussin is one of six Bersatu MPs who took the unexpected step of backing Bersatu’s rival party PKR’s president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the current prime minister, without quitting Bersatu or joining any other political parties.

Bersatu today said it had decided to change the party constitution to address the loophole allegedly exploited by the six MPs, with its planned rule changes aimed at causing such MPs to immediately cease being Bersatu members and to result in their seats becoming vacant in order to trigger by-elections.

But Berita Harian reported Syed Abu Hussin as urging other Bersatu MPs to not be afraid with the amendments agreed to by Bersatu’s delegates at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) today, and that he had called on them to proceed to support the prime minister if they have such intentions.

“Because all these rules can be challenged in court and it is not certain yet that this amendment will be approved by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) or court,” he was quoted telling Berita Harian.

Syed Abu Hussin reportedly suggested that if the Perikatan Nasional coalition and its component party Bersatu does not want to have talks with the federal government to obtain facilities to help the public and to give their support for the sake of political stability, it would be futile to curb an MP as a leader.

As for he and the other Bersatu MPs whom he said voiced support for Anwar for the sake of voters in their parliamentary seats, he told Berita Harian: “For us, will continue to be firm and will not vacate any seats until (court) decides.”

The other five Bersatu MPs who backed Anwar are Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid, Gua Musang MP Mohd Azizi Abu Naim, Jeli MP Zahari Kechik and Tanjong Karang MP Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi.

The three sub-clauses which Bersatu delegates unanimously agreed at the EGM to add to the party’s constitution include Article 10.4, where any Bersatu members who are Dewan Rakyat members or state legislative assembly members who do not comply with any orders issued by the party’s supreme council in line with Article 10.5 are considered to have their membership from Bersatu ceased immediately.

Bersatu President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today said the amendments are in line with the Federal Constitution’s Article 49A, and that the ceasing of Bersatu party membership for such MPs or state legislative members would trigger the anti-hopping law contained in Article 49A and pave the way for by-elections.