Agree with new Wanita UMNO chief Noraini that Ermieyati who resigned from UMNO should resign as MP for Masjid Tanah to seek a new mandate, but the Constitution should be amended first to allow Ermieyati to re-contest in such a by-election
The new Wanita UMNO chief Noraini Ahmad has challenged MPs who quit UMNO to relinquish their positions as elected representatives and trigger by-elections.
So far, three UMNO MPs have announced their resignation from UMNO to become independent MPs, namely Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hassin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal and Bagan Serai MP Noor Azmi Ghazali.
"The decision by the three MPs, particularly Mas Ermieyati, to become independent MPs, is clearly a betrayal of the people's trust who had elected them as Umno and BN representatives.
"Wanita Umno would like to remind Mas Ermieyati and other BN representatives that their position as MPs is not due to themselves but a combination of hard work by the party machinery and the people's trust in Umno and BN.
'If BN MPs have truly lost faith in Umno, Wanita Umno challenges them to resign as MPs and pave the way for a by-election as the people's mandate must be respected and they should be given the choice to elect MPs from the parties that they trust".
Mas Ermieyati was the latest Umno MP to announce her departure from the party today, citing her disappointment at the party election in retaining the old guards instead of choosing reforms.
I am in fact very touched by the reasons given by Mas Ermieyati for leaving UMNO, as it reminds me of what another outstanding scion of UMNO, Syed Hamid Syed Albar, who said a few days ago that UMNO today “is not the party I once knew” as “It has become a selfish party that strives for its own survival and gain, and cares little or not at all for the rakyat”.
Syed Hamid said it pained him to admit that “the ideology and philosophy that Umno was built on has been twisted to become intolerant, self-centred and even undemocratic” and Umno’s leaders had grown “elitist, too far removed and detached from the grassroots” to listen to or understand the needs of the people.
He said the same leaders had “practised and condoned a denial syndrome that has gone on for far too long, foregoing transparency and the rule of law in favour of their own excesses”.
He said “Umno’s leadership in recent years has destroyed the party’s image, reputation and good name, as they allowed abuse of power and corruption to thrive.”
Mas Ermieyatiu should accept Noraini’s challenge and resign as MP for Masjid Tanah to seek a new mandate from the voters of Masjid Tanah but after changes in the law to allow her to re-contest in the by-election.
I do not think she would have qualms over such an act of principle, but the Malaysian Constitution must be amended first to allow her to re-contest in such a by-election.
At present, she is barred from recontesting for five years in the event of her resignation as Article 48(6) of the Constitution stipulates:
“48 (6) A person who resigns his membership of the House of Representatives shall, for a period of five years beginning with the date on which his resignation takes effect, be disqualified from being a member of the House of Representatives.”
UMNO/Barisan Nasional is now left with 54 Members of Parliament. Let all the 54 BN MPs declare they will support any Constitutional Amendment Bill to repeal Article 48(6) of the Constitution at the first meeting of the 14th Parliament later this month so that Mas Ermieyati can re-contest in Masjid Tanah after she has resigned as MP.
With Pakatan Harapan’s 113 MPs, Warisan’s eight MPs as well as Barisan Nasional’s eight 54 MPs, together with the support of the three ex-UMNO MPs, there is more than the requisite two-thirds parliamentary majority of 149 votes to enact such a constitutional amendment – even as a stand-alone amendment bill.
Will the 54 UMNO/BN MPs support such a constitutional amendment when Parliament meets later this month? Let us hear from the new UMNO President elected on Saturday – Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
It is now for Noraini to first prove her sincerity and integrity before Mas Ermieyati has to prove her political integrity by resigning from Parliament after the constitutional amendment barring her from re-contesting is given the Royal Assent and gazetted into law.
In such circumstances, I would support Mas Ermieyati contesting against UMNO in a one-to-one contest, and for Pakatan Harapan to stay out of the Masjid Tanah by-election.