KOTA KINABALU: The four former Sabah Bersatu MPs now with Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) have been urged to quit their seats and seek a fresh mandate from the people.
Sabah Bersatu secretary Abdul Kadir Abdullah Damsal (pic) said the party's attempt to seek a judicial review on the Dewan Rakyat Speaker's decision not to vacate the four seats was to uphold the rule of law in the country.
He said the legal action had nothing to do with Bersatu wanting to "kill off" local-based parties in Sabah as claimed by GRS' Papar MP Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali.
The other three GRS MPs were Matbali Musah (Sipitang), Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan (Batu Sapi) and Datuk Jonathan Yasin (Ranau).
"The filing is to exercise Bersatu's legal rights and to restore the dignity of the party among not only its loyal supporters but the people of Sabah," Abdul Kadir said in a statement Tuesday (May 2).
He added that Bersatu's action was necessary to ensure that the anti-party hopping law applied to everyone.
"We believe the four parliamentarians including Amirzan have violated the mandate given to them by the people who voted for Bersatu under the Perikatan Nasional banner in GE15.
"There are no two ways about it. The filing of the judicial review has nothing to do with an attempt to (prevent) local-based parties from gaining strength in Sabah.
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"The four MPS who now claim to be members of GRS ... should have the moral courage to resign and seek a new mandate from the voters in their respective constituencies," he said.
Sabah Bersatu was a GRS member at the time of GE15 in November but was dropped in December after many of its leaders, led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, quit the party en masse.
Bersatu insists that the four MPs were part of the Perikatan Nasional coalition in GE15, although Armizan and his colleagues insisted they were direct members of GRS and contested using its symbol.
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On Armizan's statement that there was a wave of support for local-based parties, Abdul Kadir questioned why GRS only won six of Sabah's 25 Federal seats then.
"That was a dismal performance by any standard, especially by a ruling state government.
"Perhaps, especially for Armizan, it is (time) to wake up from this hallucination," he said.