Six Bersatu MPs who declare support for Anwar expected to retain seats - Analyst

05 Mar 2024 01:30pm
Political analyst Dr G. Manimaran
Political analyst Dr G. Manimaran

SHAH ALAM - The six Bersatu Members of Parliament (MPs) who declared their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim without leaving the party are expected to remain as MPs as the action was taken before the party's constitutional amendment came into force.

Political analyst Dr G. Manimaran said any action related to the amendment depended on the date of enforcement which meant that the MPs were exempted from it.

He said their dismissal cannot happen to trigger a by-election.

"I expect the position of the six MPs in Perikatan Nasional to remain until the next general election. Conflict only occurs within Bersatu itself.

"The new amendment will only be enforced on MPs who violate the party's constitution after the effective date.

"If it happens, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker has to declare that there is a vacancy (of the Parliament seat) and inform the Election Commission (EC), then the EC will hold a by-election," he told Sinar.

He was commenting on the Bersatu Special General Assembly held last Saturday which approved a constitutional amendment allowing the removal of membership for elected representatives who support the opponent.

Commenting further, Manimaran said Bersatu had no choice but to amend their constitution like other parties in line with the Federal Constitution.

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He said the unfolding events were predictable because of the loopholes in the Anti-Party Hopping Act that was approved earlier.

"Now what is expected has happened, there is a new dilemma whether the provision made is really effective or not. We are facing a crisis in the legitimacy position of MPs in this country.

"It means that there are two levels of weakness, namely Bersatu's own constitution which was not previously amended like other parties did and also the existing laws which have to be updated, tightened and improved according to current needs," he said.

In that regard, he said, it was a clear signal for Parliament to amend the anti-hopping law to be stricter and clearer and further close the existing loopholes.

He said any party needed to bring the motion to Parliament for it to be implemented.

"There needs to be a clear definition. If a person does not leave a party but supports another party, what is the definition? Or create stricter amendments, for example anyone who leaves the party when they contested on the original party's ticket and they do the opposite, is this condsidered as an automatically resignation?

"We also need to establish that if anyone leaves the party or supports the opposing party, they cannot contest in the election forever because they are not serious about being an MP, they do whatever they want and abandon the people's mandate," he said.