Slim chance of Dewan Rakyat Speaker supporting Bersatu’s request to declare six seats vacant, says party Youth chief

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Kamal today said his party doubts Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul will support its request to have six of its parliamentary seats declared vacant.

The Machang MP said this assumption was based on a previous case involving one Bersatu MP and four Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) MPs who left their parties after the 15th general election.

“We need to submit our constitutional amendments to the Registrar of Societies (RoS). Once that is completed, then we will proceed with other stages or other actions, especially a letter to the Speaker.

“But we all know, based on previous cases, that the Speaker won’t support our request to vacate those seats,” he told members of the media on the sidelines of today’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs and Assemblymen Convention 2024.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal went on to claim that Bersatu would find a way to convince Johari to see things from its point of view.

“But we will use whatever means possible, especially legal means, the court of law, to enforce this decision whereby the Speaker might not be able to refuse or reject our request,” he said.

In December 2022, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor announced that he and other state and federal leaders were leaving Bersatu en masse, raising questions about whether the elected representatives would be disqualified due to the new anti-party-hopping law.

GRS accepts individuals as direct members even if they are members of another party.

Bersatu is a component party of PN and was also a part of GRS, until Hajiji’s announcement.

The “Bersatu Four” refers to four of the six MPs who contested directly on the GRS ticket in the November 19 general election. They are Papar MP Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, Batu Sapi MP Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Sipitang MP Datuk Matbali Musah and Ranau MP Datuk Jonathan Yasin.

Armizan and Khairul are both part of the federal government; the former is Sabah and Sarawak affairs minister and the latter is deputy minister of tourism, arts and culture.

The remaining two Sabah MPs are Keningau MP Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan who is from STAR and Tawau MP Lo Su Fui who is from PBS.

In a bid to boot out the four former members, Bersatu formally sent a notice to Johari.

However, Johari rejected Bersatu’s request and decided to allow four Sabah MPs to keep their parliamentary seats.

Bersatu had filed the legal action for Johari to declare as vacant the seats held by the four MPs, but it was dismissed by the High Court in November last year, saying that the court was bound by the Federal Court’s ruling that it had no jurisdiction to question Johari’s decision.

Now, Bersatu is seeking to vacate the seats of six of its MPs who declared their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim through a formal letter to Johari.

They are Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar) and Datuk Zulkafperi Hanafi (Tanjong Karang).

To prevent more members from crossing the aisle in the future, Bersatu on March 2 amended the party’s constitution.

The decision was made in an extraordinary general meeting, where party representatives unanimously supported the motion to amend Article 10 of the Bersatu constitution.

The article stipulates matters related to the resignation and dismissal of party members.

On Wednesday, Bersatu’s Selat Klang assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rashidalso declared his support for Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.