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Let court decide fate of Bersatu reps, says Penang CM as Guan Eng calls for speedy removal

The High Court is expected to rule on a motion by the Penang state assembly to expel the Bersatu assemblymen.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow. Photo: Bernama
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow. Photo: Bernama

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow says the state government will wait for the High Court to decide on the status of assemblymen who are no longer with Pakatan Harapan (PH), even as his predecessor Lim Guan Eng calls for the quick removal of two PKR representatives expelled from the party.

Chow said the state would seek an early date from the Penang High Court to decide on a suit brought by four Bersatu assemblymen challenging a motion in the state assembly in 2020 for them to vacate their seats for not remaining as PH representatives.

That suit was dependant on a separate decision by the Federal Court on the constitutionality of Article 14A of the Penang constitution, which requires elected representatives to vacate their seats if they switch parties.

On Wednesday, the Federal Court ruled that Article 14A was consistent with the Federal Constitution.

Chow said given the apex court's decision, the state executive council had decided to wait for the High Court to rule on the case.

"Any decision made by the High Court shall be part of the process in declaring the affected seats vacant, as the case may be," he said.

Lim, the DAP chairman who was chief minister before the 2018 election, had earlier called for a special state assembly sitting to decide on the fate of Zulkifli Ibrahim and Dr Afif Bahardin, who were among those sacked from PKR when the party became embroiled in a crisis in the aftermath of the collapse of the PH government in 2020.

Zulkifli and Afif subsequently become Bersatu members, joining two other Bersatu reps in the state assembly – Khaliq Mehtab and Zolkifly Md Lazim. 

Yesterday, they warned that any move to expel them would be a departure from the anti-hopping law recently passed in the Dewan Rakyat.

Unlike the Penang constitution, the newly passed federal anti-hopping law does not affect those who are sacked from their party.

Lim however said that the federal anti-hopping law had yet to be gazetted, and as such insisted that the state law should be applied against the two PKR men who were expelled.