Six former Bersatu MPs retain seats

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul has stood his ground, refusing to vacate the seats of six former Bersatu MPs who have pledged their support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Johari informed the Dewan Rakyat that his decision was made after thorough consideration.

He emphasised that he was not a postman, merely there to relay information to the Election Commission if a party declared a seat vacant.

“When I receive any (type of notice), I will always determine (the facts) and study everything before making a decision.

“Therefore, my decision remains, as I had informed Ronald Kiandee (PN-Beluran),” he said.

Bersatu chief whip Kiandee raised a point of order in the Dewan Rakyat, seeking clarification from Johari regarding his decision on the six parliamentary seats.

“I am calling for a point of order over the Speaker’s interpretation regarding the final decision (on the six parliamentary seats).

“Referring to Article 49A of the Federal Constitution (FC), it does not give you (Johari) the authority to make a decision, but only to ensure the vacancy (of seats).

“In both of the letters you gave us, you made a decision and you interpreted the FC suggesting that the Bersatu constitution contradicts the FC,” Kiandee said.

Opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin (PN-Larut) cautioned the speaker that an incorrect decision could have long-term detrimental effects on the country.

He said that Johari should have followed the example of Kelantan state assembly speaker Amar Abdullah, who declared the Nenggiri seat vacant.

“The Kelantan speaker made the right decision and urged the Nenggiri assemblyman (Azizi Abu Naim) to take the matter to court.

“You wanted to be the best Dewan Rakyat speaker but you created this problem here. You have to be non-partisan on this matter,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim supported Johari’s decision not to vacate the seats of six Bersatu members of parliament, stating that it was in accordance with the law.

Anwar emphasized that Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should thoroughly review the interpretation of the Federal Constitution’s anti-hopping law in its entirety, rather than selectively.

Anwar noted that during his opposition days, Bersatu had opposed automatic seat forfeiture for expelled members, which resulted in exceptions being included in the constitution.

Previously, the six Bersatu MPs announced their decision to serve their constituents as independents, affirming their support for the unity government while refraining from joining any political party.