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KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Penang Pakatan Harapan (PH) said three of its leaders have been appointed to look after the Teluk Bahang, Bertam and Seberang Jaya constituencies after their assemblymen defected to support the Perikatan Nasional coalition.
Acting Penang PKR chief Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik will handle Teluk Bahang, Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman will take care of Bertam while Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar will look after Seberang Jaya.
“The actions of both the Bertam assemblyman and the Teluk Bahang assemblyman who clearly support the Perikatan Nasional government are at odds with the Penang Bersatu and Pakatan Harapan stand. Accordingly, the Council decided to depose the two assemblymen as members of the Pakatan Harapan Government. Accordingly, their rights and qualifications as State Assemblymen are immediately revoked.
“For the Seberang Jaya assemblyman who has been suspended by PKR, a decision has been made to suspend his Pakatan Harapan membership. Therefore, all its rights and qualifications as assemblymen of the State Government are immediately suspended until the final decision is made by the PKR leadership,” it said in a statement signed by Penang PH chief Chow Kon Yeow, Muhammad Bakhtiar, and Amanah Penang Chief Roslan Ahmad.
It also said Penang will seek to have the seats declared vacant based on Section 14(A) of the state constitution and will present a motion for that in the next state assembly sitting.
“As stated in the Section 14A of the Penang Constitution, any member who ceases to be a member of the party he represents at the Election shall for any reason vacate his seat.
“Accordingly, the state government will present a motion to vacate the seats of the members involved for the consideration of the State Legislative Assembly at the next sitting,” they said.
Penang is the only state to have passed an anti-hopping enactment that causes a seat to be vacated if the representative resigns, is expelled from his party, or joins a party if he won the election as an independent.
Previously, Chow said Penang is not in a hurry to hold by-elections for the two state constituencies after Teluk Bahang assemblyman Zolkifly Md Lazim, and Bertam assemblyman Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq pulled their support from Pakatan Harapan in February.
Meanwhile, Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin resigned from his Penang executive council post on March 5.
He is known as a close ally of former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who was kicked out of the party and is now serving as one of the senior ministers for the Perikatan Nasional government.