Azalina: Dewan Rakyat Speaker has final say on what happens next to Sabah MPs who left Bersatu


Datuk Seri Azalina Othman speaks during the Human Rights Day Forum 2022 at the Royale Chulan Hotel December 12, 2022. — Malay Mail photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 12): The Dewan Rakyat Speaker will be the one to decide what happens next to the six MPs from Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) following a mass walkout from Bersatu, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman said today.

The law and institutional reform minister said that she is waiting for an official report from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) on the position of the MPs as well as from Sabah attorney general as the state may have a different “situation”.

“Also I think under Article 49A of the Federal Constitution, the final decision falls to the Speaker,” she told reporters after speaking at the Human Rights Day Forum 2022 at the Royale Chulan Hotel here.

She added that it was not her place to comment further.

On December 10, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor announced that leaders of Sabah Bersatu had unanimously quit the party and would be known as GRS members until it forms a new local party.

He did not name the leaders involved.

Sabah has six MPs who contested and won under the GRS symbol in the November 19 general election.

Two of them hold federal government positions. They are Papar MP Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali who is also minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs); and Batu Sapi MP Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan who is deputy minister of tourism, arts and culture.

The remaining four are Keningau MP Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan, who is also second Sabah deputy chief minister, Tawau MP Lo Su Fui, Ranau MP Datuk Jonathan Yasin, and Sipitang MP Datuk Matbali Musah.

Sabah-based constitutional lawyer Datuk Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad told Malay Mail yesterday that these MPs are not in violation of Article 49A of the Federal Constitution — also known as the anti-party hopping law — as they had contested in the recent general election under a GRS ticket.

Article 49A states that a member of a political party who was elected to Parliament shall cease to be a member of the House of Representatives and that member’s seat shall become vacant immediately if such a member resigns his or her party membership or ceases to be a member. — Malay Mail