Backbencher urges speaker to respect Federal Constitution in the case of six ex-Bersatu MPs

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul has been urged to issue a directive for six parliamentary seats held by former Bersatu lawmakers to be vacated.

(NST) – PKR’s Pasir Gudang member of parliament Hassan Abdul Karim said Johari must respect the Federal Constitution as amended under the Anti-Party Hopping Act, which the relevant members of Dewan Rakyat had also approved.

He said it is the speaker’s duty to uphold Article 49A(1) of the Federal Constitution, which pertains to the Anti-Party Hopping Act.

Article 49A(1) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that a member of parliament shall cease to be a member, and their seat shall become vacant as soon as the Speaker of the House confirms an unexpected vacancy date.

Hassan added that Johari must also respect registered and legitimate political parties that have amended their constitutions.

“The same applies to Amanah and Umno, which also amended their party constitutions through special general meetings on Sept 18, 2022, and Jan y 13, 2023, respectively, with RoS approving the amendments to their party constitutions.

“If the Speaker disregards this notice from Bersatu, it will suggest that he does not respect the actions taken by DAP, Amanah, and Umno,” he said.

Previously, it was reported that Bersatu had issued a notice to Johari requesting that the six parliamentary seats represented by its members who supported Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim be vacated.

Bersatu vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee had said the notice was submitted per Article 49A of the Federal Constitution.

Kiandee had said the notices on the vacancies of the six parliamentary seats were signed by him in his capacity as the Bersatu chief whip.

The six Bersatu members of Parliament, whose membership were revoked by the party, are Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Syed Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (Tanjong Karang) , Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan) and Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), who was also the Nenggiri assemblyman.

Dewan Rakyat will convene for 15 days beginning Monday until July 18.

Last Wednesday, a precedent involving an unexpected vacancy for the Nenggiri state legislative assembly seat was announced State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.

This was done after the state assembly was notified of Azizi’s termination as a Bersatu party member on June 13.

The Election Commission will hold a special meeting on June 28 to address the Nenggiri by-election.