Bersatu Defections Party Rejected Clause In Anti Hopping Draft Bill Says Kj
Bersatu allegedly rejected a clause in the original draft of the anti-hopping bill which has led the party to its predicament today, reveals former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy said Bersatu was adamant in rejecting a clause that required MPs to vacate their seats if they go against the party whip and principles.
“This would mean that if there is a breach of law, they (MPs) would have to vacate their seats.
“When it was brought to the cabinet for discussion, the ones who were most against the draft were Bersatu MPs.
“The members (of the cabinet) were Bersatu ministers. And their reasoning was to prevent too much power being given to parties,” Khairy said during the latest episode of ‘Keluar Sekejap’.
Khairy said the same former ministers have fallen “victim” to the version of the draft bill that they approved in the end that is now implemented and made effective.
“That is a cruel irony of life. We commend Wan Junaidi (Tuanku Jaafar) for having the foresight to close this loophole, but this has left a huge loophole that Perikatan Nasional cannot do anything about.
“These MPs are now ‘zombie’ MPs, which means that Bersatu cannot fire them, and neither are they able to hop to Pakatan Harapan (the government).
“So they just live like that, the life of a zombie, and they will get their allocation. That’s it,” he added.
Call for review
Bersatu last night called for the anti-hopping law to be reviewed after four of its MPs announced their support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Its president Muhyiddin Yassin said the law needs to be reviewed as it has several flaws.
Muhyiddin also said Bersatu has collected evidence regarding alleged acts of bribery and coercion to get the party’s MPs to voice support for Anwar.
The MPs who pledged support for Anwar are Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Iskandar Dzukarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan) and Zahari Kechik (Jeli).
The support of the four Bersatu MPs brings the number of MPs aligned with Anwar in Parliament to 150, three more than required for a two-thirds majority.
Such action was not covered by the anti-hopping law, which only stipulates the action of sitting MPs or assemblypersons quitting their party to join another.
Iskandar and Suhaili have been suspended from Bersatu for four years and six years respectively by the party’s disciplinary board.
Article 49A(2) of the Federal Constitution states that an MP shall not cease to be one if his political party is dissolved, his resignation from his political party is due to his appointment as speaker or his expulsion from that political party.
Khairy said the law did not cover grounds behind an MP's expulsion, but only if they are expelled.
“I’m confident that the prime minister has great legal advisers who told him that this is the best loophole that can be used without triggering a by-election.
“Because to trigger a by-election in constituencies such as Jeli and Gua Musang, (the existing MPs) would definitely lose to BN-Harapan.
“So, they don’t want to trigger by-elections and remain as MPs,” he said.
Khairy added that even if Bersatu wanted to “play chess” by firing the four MPs from the party, they would remain as lawmakers.
“In fact, it would just make it easier for them to become a member of PKR or any of the Harapan parties,” he added. - Mkini
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