Lawyer: Wan Saiful Got Bersatu Constitution Wrong

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Bersatu supreme council member Wan Saiful Wan Jan had misunderstood the party’s constitution regarding automatic membership dismissal, claims a lawyer close to the party’s top leadership.

Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said this today in response to Wan Saiful’s statement, where the latter claimed that Bersatu MPs who sat with the opposition in Dewan Rakyat should lose their membership automatically.

According to Rafique, who is a part of Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s legal team, such action does not constitute as an offence that can lead to a member losing membership in the party.

“I have to remind Wan Saiful that he has erred from the perspective of the party constitution, where he seemed to prefer to play politics during the Covid-19 pandemic rather than reading through Bersatu’s constitution.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

“Article 10 of the constitution refers specifically to the matters concerning resignation and dismissal of party members, and there is nowhere it says that sitting in a position that does not support Perikatan Nasional in the Dewan Rakyat constitutes as joining Bersatu opponents.

“What the Article stipulates is that membership would be lost automatically when a party member joins another political party in the country or contest in an election as an independent candidate without Bersatu’s permission.

“And so does the case with a member who nominates or support any other election candidate than Bersatu’s,” he said in a statement to Malaysiakini.

The lawyer, who also acts as legal adviser to several top Bersatu leaders, then questioned the legitimacy of such call to initiate disciplinary action against Bersatu members who do not support PN.

“Isn’t it that PN is also a political coalition that has not been legally registered?

“Wan Saiful has to understand the concept of rule of law, which is based on thorough interpretation of the laws, according to the Federal Constitution.”

Earlier today, Wan Saiful issued a media statement where he called out Bersatu MPs who sat with the opposition during the Dewan Rakyat sitting on May 18 as should have lost their membership.

He claimed that this was in line with the party constitution.

In the first Dewan Rakyat session for this year, Mahathir, whose status as Bersatu chairperson is being disputed by a majority of the party’s leaders, appeared on the Pakatan Harapan-led opposition bench along with four other Bersatu MPs aligned to him.

Bersatu is now split with a majority of its MPs and supreme council members aligned to party president and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. – Malaysiakini