Johor state lawmaker removed from Bersatu, possibly resulting in a hung assembly
KUALA LUMPUR – A Johor state lawmaker for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia has lost his membership of the party, Malaysiakini news site reported on Friday (Sept 4), possibly resulting in a hung state assembly that could cripple policymaking.
In what is seen as a breach of the party’s Constitution, Datuk Osman Sapian was seen in a video campaigning for the candidate of rival Parti Pejuang Tanah Air in the recent Slim by-election in Perak.
Pejuang, whose full name means Fighters of the Nation Party, is a new party being set up by former premier Mahathir Mohamad.
Mr Osman’s ouster from the party comes ahead of the Johor state legislature meeting next week.
Bersatu’s disciplinary board chief, Datuk Seri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas, told the news site that Mr Osman’s membership has been voided, as the party’s Constitution says a member who works for another faction loses his membership.
“There’s no need to bring him to the disciplinary board, and the secretary-general has been informed that Osman is no longer a Bersatu member because of his own actions,” Mr Megat Najmuddin said.
Tun Dr Mahathir and five other MPs were themselves removed from Bersatu when they sat with the opposition bench in in the federal Parliament in July, with the party now led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Mr Osman, 68, was a Johor menteri besar when Dr Mahathir was prime minister.
With Mr Osman’s removal, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) alliance that rules Johor now has 28 seats, against 27 held by the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
Mr Osman could decide to become an independent lawmaker or join up with PH, which has said it is willing to consider Dr Mahathir’s Pejuang party as an ally.
Either way, any vote on Bills or motion on financial matters in the Johor state assembly could now result in a logjam.
The Speaker of the House has indicated that he might be the tie-breaker in any vote in the assembly.
State Speaker Suhaizan Kaiat said on Monday (Sept 1): “If there is a hung assembly, then the Speaker will have the deciding vote on whether the motion will be passed or not.”
Yet another scenario being talked about is for Johor’s Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad from Umno to ask the Johor Sultan to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh state election, as happened in Sabah following a spate of defections.
In June, Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar expressed his disappointment with the state’s turmoil among the political parties.
“If there is power-grabbing happening among the elected representatives, then I will immediately dissolve the Johor state assembly,” he had warned.
With Mr Osman’s removal, the Johor PN Johor government seats in the 56-strong assembly are held by Umno (14), Bersatu (11), Malaysian Indian Congress (two) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (one).
PH’s seats come from the Democratic Action Party (14), Parti Amanah Negara (nine) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (four).
Dr Mahathir’s Pejuang party has submitted its formal registration with the Registrar of Societies.
Source: Read Full Article