I understand the constitution, it’s Anwar who doesn’t, says Muhyiddin

The Bersatu president cites Article 49A of the Federal Constitution to rebut the prime minister’s ‘selective reading’ claim.

(FMT) – Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin has hit back at Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim who earlier today accused his party of selectively reading the Federal Constitution when objecting to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul’s decision not to vacate the seats held by six former Bersatu MPs.

“Anwar said I only read part of the (Federal) Constitution. I want to ask Anwar, which part (of the constitution) did I not read?” Muhyiddin said in a statement today.

He said Article 49A of the Federal Constitution, commonly known as the anti-hopping law, clearly mandates that MPs who cease to be party members lose their seats.

He said Bersatu had amended its party constitution to enforce the immediate cessation of membership for representatives who did not comply with written directives from the Supreme Council.

“If (the six MPs) had withdrawn their support (for Anwar) and complied with the directive within the stipulated period, they would have remained party members and MPs,” he said.

“The problem is that they deliberately ignored the party’s directive by continuously supporting (Anwar).”

Muhyiddin said this led to the automatic termination of their Bersatu memberships under Article 10.4 of the party constitution and the consequent vacancy of their parliamentary seats under Article 49A.

“I understand the constitutional provision well. The one who doesn’t understand it is Anwar,” he added.

The six MPs in question 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).

Yesterday, Muhyiddin said Johari’s decision was “disappointing” and in clear violation of the written and implied provisions of Article 49A(3).

The former prime minister added that Bersatu would appoint lawyers to challenge Johari’s decision in court.