Allowing rogue 'Bersatu Six' to retain seats against the law, claims Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul erred in his interpretation of the Federal Constitution by allowing the rogue "Bersatu Six" MPs to retain their seats, says Bersatu presidentTan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“Only the court has the right to interpret the Federal Constitution,” said Muhyiddin, who is also Perikatan Nasional chairman.

He said Bersatu would appoint legal experts to scrutinise the decision.

“If we find that the Speaker’s decision did not adhere to Article 49A (of the Federal Constitution) or respect Bersatu’s (party) constitutional amendments, we will take the matter to court,” he said.

When asked if they would file a motion to appeal the Speaker’s decision, Muhyiddin said it would be decided by the party's MPs.

ALSO READ: 'Bersatu Six' to retain seats, says Parliament Speaker

“Perhaps tomorrow (Thursday, July 11) morning. It will be done in Parliament itself,” he said.

Muhyiddin expressed disappointment with the decision, calling on Johari to uphold the “true intention" of amendments made to Article 49A, also known as the anti-party hopping law.

“Perikatan also reminds all political parties and MPs that Article 49A was amended unanimously,” he said.

He said a precedent was set when the Nenggiri state seat in Kelantan was declared vacant.

“So why is the situation different here?” Muhyiddin asked.

ALSO READ: Bersatu's constitutional amendments contravene Federal Constitution, rules Speaker

On June 19, the Nenggiri state seat was declared vacant by Kelantan Speaker Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah after incumbent Mohd Azizi Abu Naim lost his Bersatu membership.

Mohd Azizi, who is also Gua Musang MP, had failed to respond to an official letter requiring him to pledge his loyalty to Bersatu by May 31.

Although he won the Nenggiri seat under the PAS banner, Mohd Azizi is a Bersatu member.

On June 20, Bersatu Parliament whip Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee sent a notice to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s Office on the vacancies of six parliamentary seats held by former Bersatu lawmakers.

The notice was regarding the Jeli, Gua Musang, Bukit Gantang, Kuala Kangsar, Tanjong Karang and Labuan seats.

Aside from Mohd Azizi, Bersatu declared that five other MPs and a Selangor assemblyman had also ceased to be party members after failing to respond to letters requiring them to pledge loyalty to the party.

The MPs are Syed Abu Hussin Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan) and Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanafi (Tanjong Karang).

The Selangor assemblyman is Selat Klang representative Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari.

Their ouster came after Bersatu amended its constitution, to automatically expel party members if they go against party decisions and for its elected representatives to vacate their seats.

Bersatu amended its constitution after the MPs declared their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Abdul Rashid then pledged his support for Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

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