Bersatu's constitutional amendments contravene Federal Constitution, rules Speaker

KUALA LUMPUR: The rogue "Bersatu Six" MPs do not have to vacate their seats as recent amendments to the party constitution go against the Federal Constitution and Parliament regulations.

In a letter from Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul to Bersatu Chief Whip Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee, which was sighted by The Star, Johari said regulations under Clause 10.5 of the Bersatu constitution deny the rights of the five MPs which are enshrined under the Federal Constitution, Parliament Standing Order and the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952.

"The three laws ensure privileges, freedom of speech, debates and voting of MPs," he said in the letter dated July 9.

Earlier, Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul said the former Bersatu MPs would retain their seats.

The decision was relayed to the Bersatu leadership on Wednesday (July 10), with party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin saying he was disappointed with the decision and claimed that the Speaker had misinterpreted the Federal Constitution.

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

On the seating for five MPs, Johari said that they remain in the Opposition bloc.

"Regarding the application by Bersatu for the five MPs to return to the Opposition bench, I find that they remain in the opposition bloc.

"I have decided the seats should not be vacated under article 49(A)(1) under the Federal Constitution," ruled Johari.

In a separate letter about the status of Labuan MP Datuk Dr Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Johari said that he was told the matter had been brought to court.

"As the case is currently in the court, I do not want to disrupt the interests of those involved in the case with my ruling under Article 49(A)(3) of the Constitution.

"Hence I have decided that the seat will not be vacated under Article 49(A)(1) of the constitution," said Johari.

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