KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — PKR traitors should take heed from today’s High Court ruling against former Ampang MP Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin who was ordered to pay the party RM10 million for breaching a bond, Fahmi Fadzil said.
The PKR information chief promised that action will be taken against all those who “betrayed” it, even though there was no specific legislation banning members from switching parties at that time.
“Maybe the party will consider that Zuraida was not the only one who hopped the party at that time but there were others as well and we will continue to take action against those who betray the party,” Fahmi who is also Lembah Pantai MP told reporters at his service centre here after an awards ceremony recognising SPM 2022 top scorers this morning.
He said the party had taken action against Zuraida and that its central leadership council might discuss further action against other former members who quit the party after being picked as PKR election candidates and won.
Fahmi said he welcomed the High Court ruling against Zuraida today, calling it an “impactful decision”.
He said he too had signed the same bond as Zuraida even though at that time there was no anti-party hopping Act, adding that it was “one of the reasons why we imposed a bond on her and to those who are running for PKR,” he said, referring to Zuraida. “The lesson from the High Court’s decision is: Don’t betray. If you want to betray then be prepared to pay,” he added.
In 2020, PKR sued Zuraida for breaking a bond by leaving the party after winning a seat in the 2018 general election under the party ticket.
During the trial, Zuraida contended that the conditions of the bond violated her constitutional right to associate freely.
In response, PKR stated that the bond was valid according to Section 71 of the Contracts Act, and they were entitled to seek reimbursement for the advantages Zuraida gained as Ampang MP, as well as the benefits she received during her previous term as a housing and local government minister.
Zuraida officially left PKR on February 24, 2020, without resigning from her elected post of Ampang MP. She served as Ampang MP for 15 years, from 2008 to 2022.
She quit PKR then to join Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), before settling for Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) earlier this year.
At the time Zuraida left PKR, 10 other MPs also left along with her including former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Indera Mahkota MP Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah and former Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar. They were aligned with a faction known as Gagasan Sejahtera, which later formed Bersatu.
The anti-party hopping law in Malaysia only took effect on October 5, 2022, and it was intended to prevent MPs from switching political parties without facing consequences. Under the law, MPs who defect from their parties will be disqualified from Parliament for the remainder of their term.