January 30, 2024
PETALING JAYA – Opposition party Bersatu will amend its party’s constitution after the sixth MP from the party pledged support for the unity government without triggering a by-election.
Its secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the party will also take legal action against the six so that they vacate their seats.
“Bersatu is ready to face any by-elections,” he said in a statement yesterday.
The actions by the MPs do not contravene the anti-hopping laws that came into effect before the 15th General Election (GE15) in November 2022, as they only apply to MPs who resign or switch allegiances by joining another party.
The anti-hopping laws do not apply to MPs who express their support for other parties without leaving their own party.
On Jan 24, Tanjong Karang MP Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi pledged his support to the unity government, becoming the sixth MP from Bersatu to do so since GE15.
The others were Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan) and Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang).
Bersatu is part of the Perikatan Nasional opposition coalition together with PAS and Gerakan.
On Jan 26, Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin claimed that about 10 more Bersatu MPs are expected to express their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the coming months.
In his statement, Hamzah said the party will amend Article 10 of the party constitution, which deals with the cessation of membership and the expulsion of members. However, no time line was given for the amendments to be carried out.
DAP and Amanah amended their respective party constitutions in September 2022 for the anti-hopping laws to also apply to state-elected representatives.
Umno amended its constitution in January last year to prevent its MPs from defying party decisions.
PAS previously stated that it does not intend to amend its constitution to address such issues because their elected representatives have taken an oath (bai’ah) to remain faithful to the party on pain of incurring divine wrath.