Bersatu duo: Only Speaker can order us to vacate seats


PETALING JAYA: Two of the six Bersatu leaders, whose membership has ceased, insist that they are still legally elected MPs. “When Parliament reopens on June 24, I will be there as a legally elected MP.

The termination letter from Bersatu does not nullify my status as an MP and does not require me to vacate the seat,” said Labuan MP Datuk Dr Suhaili Abdul Rahman.

“Only the Speaker of Parliament or the court can order my seat to be vacated,” a defiant Suhaili said when contacted.

He was among six MPs and one assemblyman who had their memberships revoked on June 11 after failing to respond to a written instruction from the supreme leadership council to pledge allegiance to the party by May 31.

Defiant: Suhaili (left) and Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz.Defiant: Suhaili (left) and Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz.

Following this, Bersatu is expected to send a notice to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul informing Parliament that the six seats have fallen vacant after the six had their party membership terminated.

Political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian argued that their fate as MPs will be likely determined by Johari when Parliament reconvenes on June 24.

Another MP, Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, said his status as Bukit Gantang MP has not changed because he did not resign from Bersatu.

He said that under Article 49 (A) of the Federal Constitution, it is clear that he did not violate any provisions that require the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to declare that his seat needed to be vacated.

“‘Bersatu amended the party’s constitution to terminate my membership. Article 49A (2) (c) clearly states that my position as a Member of Parliament does not end when the party expels me,” Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz said in a statement yesterday.

“In my situation, I have clearly and consistently stated that I am a member of Bersatu, and that I support the aims and objectives of the party.

“Therefore, I will support any party that champions the aims and objectives of Bersatu, including from the Perikatan Nasional component parties, and the government.”

Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz said he was confident that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker would make a wise ruling on the matter.

Apart from Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz and Suhaili, the other four whose fate as MPs hang in the balance are Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanafi (Tanjong Karang) and Mohd Azizi Abu Naim, who is both Gua Musang MP and the Nenggiri state assemblyman.

The six MPs had violated Bersatu’s policy when they declared support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Also in hot water is Selat Klang assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari who pledged to support Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

Sivamurugan said the cases of the six are full of legal intricacies as the six rogue MPs are relying on their interpretation of the Federal Constitution, while Bersatu based theirs on its party constitution.

“The dilemma now is whether we read the party constitution and Federal Constitution separately,” said Sivamurugan of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

“Article 49A of the Federal Constitution is clear that if any MP does not belong to any political party, the seat is vacant”.

In the Bersatu constitution, the memberships of any MP or state assemblyman will cease if they do not follow party instructions, he said.

The Dewan Rakyat Speaker will then have to decide which of these laws takes precedence.

“Some also argued that the seats are automatically vacant now. It could be a long process if the six were to go to court. We shall see a long drama starting during the upcoming Parliament session,” said Sivamurugan.

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