Bersatu leaders challenge MP to leave party after appointment to govt committee

Bersatu leaders have challenged an MP who declared his support for the government to leave the party following his appointment to head a government committee tackling rising food prices and the cost of living.

(FMT) – Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal is one of six Bersatu MPs who declared their support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the unity government in recent months.

On Sunday, Anwar announced that he would lead a committee under the National Action Council on Cost of Living (Naccol).

Speaking to FMT, Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal described Syed Hussin’s appointment as an embarrassment to the government.

“If he still has any dignity, he should leave the party, but he seems shameless,” he said.

“It’s embarrassing for the unity government, which already has its own ministers and MPs, but resorts to taking a hypocritical Bersatu MP to solve the people’s issues.

“If he is honest and fair, he should vacate the Bukit Gantang seat and hand it back to the people.”

Bemban assemblyman Dr Yadzil Yaakub also challenged Syed Hussin to leave Bersatu. He said there was no need for Syed Hussin to be indecisive, after Syed Hussin said he would remain loyal to Bersatu despite pledging support for Anwar.

Yadzil, who is the opposition leader in the Melaka state assembly, said that accepting the Naccol position “implies a violation of party policies”.

“If he is a man of integrity, he should leave the party,” he said.

“He should stand firm in his principles. One cannot claim loyalty to one’s wife while simultaneously engaging in extramarital affairs.”

The Malaysian Indian People’s Party (MIPP), which recently applied to join Perikatan Nasional (PN), also urged Syed Hussin to resign before accepting any role with the government.

“It’s not fair to PN as he (Syed Hussin) is a Bersatu MP but supports the government and holds a government position,” said MIPP deputy president S Subramaniam.

On Sunday, Bersatu’s Supreme Council agreed to amend the party’s constitution to deter its elected representatives from backing the government without quitting the party, thus sidestepping the anti-hopping law.

Syed Hussin told FMT that his selection as the committee head was influenced by his experience in establishing a platform for the public to obtain essential goods at reasonable prices.

He said Anwar’s willingness to select him, an opposition representative, to lead the committee reflected the government’s commitment to aiding the public through established and effective programmes.

“The decision is because he indeed practises an open attitude in helping the people. If there are (better) ways to assist the people, he will ask us to highlight them,” he said, expressing his intention to expand the Program Jualan Termurah Madani nationwide.

Apart from Syed Hussin, the other five Bersatu MPs who have backed Anwar are Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan), Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli) and Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (Tanjung Karang).

All six MPs cited their constituencies’ needs and said they supported the federal government’s policies. However, they also said they would remain loyal to Bersatu.