KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has rejected Bersatu’s bid to commence legal action against Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul and four MPs in an attempt to vacate their seats.
Justice Amarjeet Singh held that the courts are barred by the Federal Constitution from reviewing matters arising in Parliament such as the decisions of the Speaker.
Johari had said in January that there was no need to vacate the Papar, Batu Sapi, Ranau and Sipitang seats, held by Armizan Ali, Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Jonathan Yasin and Matbali Musah, respectively.
Bersatu had claimed that Johari’s decision not to vacate the seats of the MPs, who were formerly with the party, was “tainted with illegality”.
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 as saying that the party had issued letters of termination to the four MPs on Dec 21, 2022.
He said this was because they had “crossed the floor” by sitting with the government bloc during the Dec 19 Dewan Rakyat sitting.
Kiandee claimed this had triggered Article 49A of the Federal Constitution, which states that MPs will lose their seats if they move to another party unless they are sacked by their party or if their party is dissolved or deregistered.
Bersatu wanted the court to revoke Johari’s decision, notified to the party in a letter dated Jan 16, and subsequently an order for the Speaker to declare the four seats vacant.
Bersatu was represented by lawyers Azhar Harun and Chetan Jethwani, while senior federal counsel Farah Shuhada Ramli appeared for Johari and lawyer Firoz Hussein Jamaluddin represented the four MPs.
We are live on Telegram, subscribe here for breaking news and the latest announcements.