KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today defended Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul’s decision to maintain the seats of six MPs who recently left Bersatu, asserting that the decision aligns with legal principles.

He explained that the constitution should be read completely and not selectively as done by Bersatu’s leadership.

"The constitutional and legal interpretations should be read in their entirety, rather than selectively, as done by the Bersatu leader.

"Firstly, when we were in the opposition, we wanted to ensure that anyone expelled would automatically lose their position. However, Bersatu opposed this at the time, and that is why it was included in the constitutional exemption,” he told reporters after his speech at Global Madani Forum 2024 here today.

Yesterday, Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin expressed disappointment with Johari's decision, saying it contravened the written and implied provisions of Article 49A(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Article 49A of the Federal Constitution refers to an MP's seat being vacated under three circumstances which include resignation from their party, cessation of party membership, or joining another political party.

The six MPs affected by this decision are Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang) dan Datuk Zulkafperi Hanapi (Tanjung Karang)and Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan).

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