Bersatu 6 don't need to vacate seats, says Speaker

KUALA LUMPUR: The six Bersatu MPs who had expressed their support towards Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim can write to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker's office if they wish to change their seating arrangements, says Tan Sri Johari Abdul (pic).

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker said that the six Bersatu MPs did not have to vacate the seats they won in the last general election as per the anti-hopping law.

"However, if they wish to move, they can write to me stating their reasons for switching their seats and I will look into it," he said during a briefing session with media practitioners at the Parliament building today (Feb 19).

On Jan 24, Tanjong Karang MP Datuk Dr Zulkaperi Hanapi, who is from Bersatu, officially recorded his support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

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The other five Bersatu MPs are Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang) and Tanjong Karang MP Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi.

“For example, they can say they want to move from place A to place B because you know, I don’t like my ‘neighbour’ because he likes to shout or maybe he likes to eat petai, or whatever it is (the reason),” added Johari.

However, he said that this is based upon request and as long as there is space.

"Sometimes, for example, we have MPs who have been dropped as Cabinet ministers, so they will move.

"Moving from one place to another is quite normal," added the Speaker.

Bersatu will hold a special general assembly on March 2 to amend its constitution to prevent more defections from its leaders without triggering a by-election.

The actions by the MPs do not contravene the anti-hopping laws that came into effect before the 15th General Election (GE15) in November 2022, as they only apply to MPs who resign or switch allegiances by joining another party.

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