Penang Premier Chow Kon Yeow says the state government will wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the status of MPs no longer with Pakatan Harapan (PH), even if his predecessor Lim Guan Eng made the quick removal of two PKR representatives calls for expulsion from the party.
Chow said the state will seek an early hearing in the Penang Supreme Court to rule on a lawsuit brought by four Bersatu lawmakers challenging a motion in the state assembly in 2020 that they vacate their seats for not serving as PH – Remain representative.
That lawsuit was pending a separate decision by the federal court on the constitutionality of Article 14A of the Penang Constitution, which requires elected officials to vacate their seats if they change parties.
The Federal Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Article 14a is compatible with the Federal Constitution.
Chow said that in light of the Supreme Court’s decision, the state Executive Council decided to wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the case.
“Any High Court decision is part of the process of declaring the seats concerned vacant, if any,” he said.
Lim, the leader of the DAP, who was prime minister before the 2018 election, had previously called a special state assembly to consider the fate of Zulkifli Ibrahim and Dr. Afif Bahardin, who were among those dismissed from the PKR when the party became embroiled in a crisis following the collapse of the PH government in 2020.
Zulkifli and Afif subsequently become Bersatu members, joining two other Bersatu representatives in the State Assembly – Khaliq Mehtab and Zolkifly Md Lazim.
Yesterday they warned that any attempt to deport them would mean a derogation from the anti-hopping law recently passed in the Dewan Rakyat.
Unlike the Penang Constitution, the newly passed federal anti-hopping law does not affect those fired from their party.
However, Lim said the state’s anti-hopping law has yet to be made public, so he insisted the state law should be used against the two PKR men who were deported.