KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin today called for caution before taking punitive measures against the seven members of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) who have openly defied their party by choosing to support Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In an interview with Utusan Malaysia’s weekend publication Mingguan Malaysia, the Bersatu secretary-general also expressed his need for circumspection regarding any public remarks concerning the issue, acknowledging the potential legal ramifications.

Hamzah said that based on advice from the party’s legal team, Bersatu appears to have favourable prospects regarding potential actions against the dissenting members.

“According to Article 49A of the Federal Constitution, there are things we must do. For example, someone who is no longer a party member, but they all admit that they are party members. So, no action can be taken to vacate the seat. However, another clause specifies exceptions when individuals cease to be party members, and that there are matters that cause them to cease from being a member. According to the party constitution, this matter should be looked at in detail.


“You can sack, but can this lead to something good for the party and also for the voters? After all, in this matter, we have terms such as fired, aborted and another term — stopped. All these should be taken into account before making a decision,” he was quoted as saying.

Since last year, a total of six Bersatu federal lawmakers switched their allegiance and declared support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

They are Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar) and Datuk Zulkafperi Hanafi (Tanjong Karang).


Last month, Selat Klang assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari declared his support for the leadership of Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

Hamzah also expressed confidence of reclaiming the aforementioned seats when questioned about Bersatu’s potential in the event of a by-election, noting that the majority of voters in these areas are staunch supporters of the party.

On March 9, Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin challenged the government to declare as vacant the seats currently occupied by its MPs who have stated their support for Anwar, and return the mandate to the rakyat.

Muhyiddin, who is also Bersatu president, said he is confident that PN will retain said seats with an even larger majority if by-elections are held.

“This Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) government is desperate or scared. They know that their position is not that strong. At the same time, the people have also lost confidence in them.

“Because of that, they are trying to weaken PN’s position by offering various rewards to our people’s representatives to support the prime minister. I want to tell the prime minister. Do whatever you want. That will not change the negative perception that the people have of the government led by you who failed to govern the country well,” he said at the PN MPs and Assemblymen Convention 2024.

To prevent more members from crossing the aisle in the future, Bersatu had on March 2, amended its party’s constitution at an extraordinary general meeting, by adding three sub-clauses into the party’s constitution.

These three sub-clauses include Article 10.4, where any Bersatu members who are Dewan Rakyat members or state legislative assembly members who do not comply with any orders issued by the party’s supreme council in line with Article 10.5 are considered to have their membership from Bersatu ceased immediately.

The other new sub-clause is Article 10.5 where the Bersatu supreme council can issue any orders specifically any or all of its Dewan Rakyat members or state legislative assembly members and that all such orders made under Article 10.5 have to be done in writing.

The third sub-clause approved by Bersatu delegates is: In reference to Article 10.4, the secretary-general on the supreme council’s orders is to issue a notice to the relevant member to notify the member that their membership has ceased immediately and that their name has been removed from Bersatu’s party membership registry system.

Muhyiddin explained that Bersatu’s party constitution previously did not have such clauses and the party could only suspend these MPs’ membership as a disciplinary action.