KOTA KINABALU: Former law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says the four Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) MPs need not vacate their seats.
He said that based on the facts he had received, the four MPs had contested the 15th General Election (GE15) as direct GRS candidates and not under a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) ticket.
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"Having been informed by various reliable sources today (Dec 12), the four MPs had left Bersatu in early October, 2022, before contesting GE15 in November.
"In which case, I have to agree with Sabah constitutional lawyer Tengku Datuk Fuad Ahmad that the anti-party hopping law does not affect them," he said in a statement issued from Kuching and made available here.
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The statement was jointly issued by Junaidi and Fuad, who is a constitutional lawyer and legal advisor to the Sabah government.
In GE15, the four MPs contested under the GRS banner and as direct members of that party.
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Junaidi and Fuad, in the statement, added that this meant the GRS pact with Bersatu ended in early October, before the election took place.
As such, the MPs did not breach the anti-party hopping provisions of the Federal Constitution, they said.
The statement comes amid questions that the MPs would be subjected to vacating their seats under the anti-party hopping law after Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor announced on Dec 10 that they were quitting Sabah Bersatu and temporarily becoming GRS direct members pending moves into a Sabah-based party.