KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul was right in refusing Bersatu’s bid to vacate the seats of six lawmakers for supporting the prime minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said.

The Malaysian ambassador to the US also said the Speaker’s decision was consistent with the law against political defections, which he said Bersatu was involved in approving in Parliament.

Specifically, he said it included a clause to prevent a lawmaker from losing his seat as a result of expulsion for crossing the political aisle.

The former Padang Rengas MP said a senior politician such as Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also a former prime minister, should understand this principle.

“There are times when Opposition members of parliament will support a Bill brought by the government and this has happened before,” he was quoted as saying by Astro Awani.

“When the six Bersatu MPs support the government, it is the same as them supporting a government Bill.”

Yesterday, Muhyiddin said his party received a letter from Johari refusing its notice of vacancies in the seats of six MPs who declared for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The six are:

  • Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan)
  • 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)
  • Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (Tanjong Karang)

Muhyiddin subsequently said his party would consider possible legal action to contest the Speaker’s decision.

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