Govt MP accuses Dewan Rakyat Speaker of disrespecting Parliament

Govt MP accuses Dewan Rakyat Speaker of disrespecting Parliament

PETALING JAYA: A government MP has criticised Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul’s decision not to vacate the seats held by six MPs who recently ceased to be Bersatu members.

Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim said Johari’s decision was against the aspirations of Malaysians to stop party hopping through amendments made to the Federal Constitution.

“It is very unfortunate and sad because the speaker’s decision is not supported by strong arguments,” the PKR MP told FMT.

“I see the speaker making decisions based on partisan political interests that fail to respect legal fundamentals and the supremacy of the Federal Constitution.”

Presently, Article 49A of the Federal Constitution, commonly known as the anti-hopping law, states that an MP’s seat would be vacated in one of three situations: if he resigns from his party, ceases to be a member of the party, or joins another political party. However, it does not address the situation of an opposition MP choosing to support the government without taking any one of those three specific actions.

The law, which is aimed at discouraging MPs from switching parties, came into force on Oct 5, 2022, after being passed on July 28 the same year.

Earlier today, Bersatu president and Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said Johari’s decision was “disappointing” as it clearly went against the written and implied provisions of Article 49A(3) of the Federal Constitution. The former prime minister added that Bersatu would appoint lawyers to challenge Johari’s decision in court.

The six MPs are Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (Tanjong Karang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar) and Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan).

Last month, Bersatu said they had ceased to be party members after failing to respond to a notice to confirm their loyalty.

This led to Kelantan state assembly speaker Amar Abdullah declaring the Nenggiri state seat held by Azizi vacant and the Election Commission subsequently fixed Aug 17 for the by-election.

In a letter to Bersatu’s chief whip Ronald Kiandee yesterday, Johari said Bersatu’s decision to terminate the membership of Syed Hussin, Azizi, Zulkafperi, Zahari and Iskandar went against the Federal Constitution, the Dewan Rakyat’s standing order, and the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952.

“All three legislation have guaranteed privileges (such as the) freedom of speech, debate and voting to MPs. Therefore, I find that there is no vacancy of seats under Article 49A(1) of the Federal Constitution,” said Johari.

Bersatu terminated the membership of the five MPs after stating that they violated Clause 10.4 of its constitution, which stipulates that any Bersatu members holding positions in the Dewan Rakyat or state legislative assemblies who fail to adhere to directives issued by the party’s Supreme Council, as outlined in Clause 10.5, shall have their Bersatu membership terminated immediately.

Johari also said Suhaili’s seat was not vacated as he did not want to jeopardise a suit which the Labuan MP filed against Bersatu last year for suspending him from the party for six years after he expressed support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Suhaili’s Bersatu membership was terminated based on Clause 10.2.6 of the party constitution, which states that a party member will have his or her membership revoked if he or she brings any party matter or anything concerning party membership to court.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/national/govt-mp-accuses-dewan-rakyat-speaker-of-disrespecting-parliament/ar-BB1pJQa5?ocid=00000000

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