DEWAN Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul said the four Bersatu MPs who had declared their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s premiership have applied to change their seating place in the august house.
Johari said he had received letters on the matter from all of them today (Nov 9) and he will look at the set-up of the Dewan Rakyat before making a decision.
“I will contact them during Deepavali, it will be an informal meeting. Let’s how things are, I have just received the letters,” Johari told reporters at the Dewan Rakyat.
“Like Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, he didn’t want to sit in the government bloc and requested a more comfortable seat.
“It’s like a family. They used to ‘sleep in the bedroom’, but now they want to move to the ‘living room’,” he joked.
Johari stressed that the four Bersatu MPs declaring their support for Anwar’s premiership will not trigger the anti-hopping law.
“The anti-hopping provisions under the Federal Constitution do not apply to them as they did not jump parties.
“If the MP ‘crosses’ from party A to party B officially, and in black and white to say that he has left his party, he must vacate the seat.
“But what is happening now is that they pledged support, they didn’t ‘cross’. So, it doesn’t mean anything. Their seats will not be vacated,” he added.
Yesterday (Nov 8), Jeli MP Zahari Kechik became the fourth Bersatu MP to pledge their support for Anwar’s leadership, citing the wellbeing of his constituents.
Previously, Gua Musang MP Datuk Mohd Azizi Abu Naim, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid and Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman had done the same, citing the same reason.
Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin recently announced that Iskandar and Suhaili had been suspended from the party for four and six years respectively by the party’s disciplinary board committee, and that they had also been relieved of all positions in the party.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said more opposition MPs will announce their support for Anwar.
“But we anticipate more opposition MPs will back the prime minister,” Zahid was quoted as saying by FMT today (Nov 9), adding that the support given by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs should be accepted in good faith.
The UMNO president also told grassroots leaders in the respective constituencies not to take the support given by the four MPs for granted.
“Instead, the party should work harder to ensure UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) can reclaim the four parliamentary seats,” Zahid said. – Nov 9, 2023
Main pic credit: Utusan Malaysia