Bersatu ‘traitors’ Vacating seven seats not an easy task

Despite the Registrar of Societies (RoS) having approved the constitutional amendments, the effort by the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) to vacate six parliamentary seats and one State Assembly seat belonging to party traitors is not an easy matter to resolve in the near future.

(Sinar Daily)  –This is because the seven parliamentary and State Assembly seats do not automatically become vacant as claimed by Bersatu Information Chief Datuk Razali Idris; instead, it requires various processes including notification to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly, as well as judicial review until a decision is made by the Federal Court later on.

Universiti Sains Malaysia Centre for Social Studies lecturer Professor Datuk Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said that the vacancy of these seats depends on legal definitions and the discretionary power of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly after receiving notification from Bersatu.

He stated that this was because the membership as Members of Parliament and State Assembly members was said to have been terminated after the recent constitutional amendment of Bersatu was approved by the RoS, while the seven representatives had declared their support for the Prime Minister and the Unity Government prior.

“That is where the grey area that needs to be resolved from a legal standpoint and the individuals who can determine whether the seven seats are vacant or not are the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly and the High Court.

“Therefore, I see the process of vacating the seven parliamentary and State Assembly seats not as an easy matter and will take a long time because each claim to be on the right side,” he said.

He commented on Razali’s statement confirming that the membership of Bersatu representatives who declared support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership was terminated, and they needed to vacate their respective seats.

On March 2, Bersatu approved constitutional amendments to strip party membership from representatives who support parties in opposition.

The Members of Parliament were Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (Tanjong Karang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), and Datuk Dr Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan).

Meanwhile, the Bersatu State Assembly members were Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari (Selat Klang), who also pledged support to Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

Sivamurugan emphasised that the seven Bersatu representatives refused to vacate their seats because they believed that the RoS-approved party constitutional amendment did not apply to them.

“So, the decision of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly as to whether there are vacancies in the six parliamentary seats and the State Assembly seat is very important and will be the first case and reference for politicians and legal systems in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, Machang Member of Parliament Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said that the Bersatu Secretary-General cum Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin surely has his own strategy to ensure that the seven traitors vacate their respective seats.

At the same time, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Fleet (Armada) chief did not underestimate the abilities of the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Tan Sri Johari Abdul, to do whatever it took to safeguard the interests of the unity government and defend the seven involved representatives.

“Bersatu is not foolish, and we know Anwar’s political life as Prime Minister depends on the seven Bersatu traitors involved.

“So, we will not take lightly the effort to vacate the involved seats even though the RoS has approved the party’s constitutional amendment,” he explained.

He added that Bersatu would not rush and they would announce the next steps when the time was right.

“If Anwar and the Madani Government are truly strong, they would have already requested the Speaker of the Senate and the Selangor State Assembly to announce the vacancy of the seven seats involved.

“However, because Anwar does not have absolute support and a two-thirds majority, the unity government has to ‘steal’ six Bersatu Members of Parliament,” he said.