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Friday, August 5, 2022

Hold special sitting to decide reps’ fate, says Guan Eng


Dr Afif Bahardin (left) and Zulkifli Ibrahim were sacked by PKR in 2020.

PETALING JAYA: DAP national chairman Lim Guan Eng has called for a special sitting of the Penang state assembly to decide the fate of two assemblymen who switched their support from Pakatan Harapan to Perikatan Nasional.

Lim, the Air Putih assemblyman, said the state assembly should use the emergency sitting to decide on the status of Dr Afif Bahardin (Seberang Jaya) and Zulkifli Ibrahim (Sungai Acheh), who were sacked by PKR in 2020.

He pointed out that Section 14A of Penang’s anti-hopping enactment, which the Federal Court ruled as constitutional, states that assemblymen sacked by their parties shall be forced to vacate their seats.

He also noted that Bersatu assemblymen Mehtab Mohd Ishaq (Bertam) and Zolkifly Md Lazim (Telok Bahang) would be excluded by the state’s anti-hopping enactment.

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“Since the new amendments to the Federal Constitution have not been gazetted yet, the Federal Court ruling effectively means that Section 14A is covered with the force of law and should be applied on the two ex-PKR assemblymen (Afif and Zulkifli).

“A special state assembly sitting should be held to decide this matter since the question of constitutionality has been disposed of and should be exercised in accordance with the people’s wishes,” he said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the apex court declared that the anti-hopping enactment passed by the Penang legislative assembly in 2012 was constitutional.

But the four assemblymen urged Penang to bring the state constitution in line with the proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution dealing with anti-party hopping.

Under the recently passed federal anti-hopping law, MPs who are sacked by their parties still get to keep their seats.

The Penang government is expected to decide on the fate of the four assemblymen at an exco meeting later today. - FMT

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