KUALA LUMPUR: Bersatu has filed a bid to commence legal action in the High Court here against Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul and others as the party attempts to vacate four parliamentary seats in Sabah.
In its April 17 application to initiate the judicial review, Bersatu said that Johari’s decision not to vacate the seats of the Papar, Batu Sapi, Ranau and Sipitang MPs, who were formerly with Bersatu, was “tainted with illegality”.
In the application, which was sighted by FMT, Bersatu claimed Johari “erred” in his decision not to declare the four seats vacant.
The seats are held by Armizan Mohd Ali (Papar), Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan (Batu Sapi), Jonathan Yasin (Ranau) and Matbali Musah (Sipitang).
The four MPs were elected on a Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) ticket in the last general election (GE15) while Bersatu was part of GRS.
However, after the general election, GRS dropped Bersatu as a coalition member.
Bersatu vice-president Ronald Kiandee was previously reported to have said that the party issued letters of termination to the four MPs on Dec 21.
He said this was because they sat with the government bloc during the Dec 19 Dewan Rakyat sitting, adding this meant they had “crossed the floor”.
He claimed this had triggered Article 49A of the Federal Constitution, which states that MPs will lose their seats if they move to another party. Exceptions will be given to MPs who are sacked by their party or if their party is dissolved or deregistered.
Bersatu wanted the court to revoke Johari’s decision, which he had notified the party in a letter dated Jan 16, and subsequently order the Speaker to declare the four seats vacant.
The party also said if their judicial review is successful, Johari must inform the Election Commission (EC) to fill the vacancies within 21 days.
High Court judge Justice Amarjeet Singh will hear Bersatu’s leave application to commence a judicial review on May 30.