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Malay Mail

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 12 — The four Sabah MPs from Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) were aware of the restrictions of the anti-hopping laws and are confident they have not breached the laws.

GRS secretary-general Datuk Masidi Manjun said that they were fully aware of the anti-hopping law that came into effect on October 5 this year before they stood as candidates for the election and were mindful of its limitations.

“They will inform the Speaker of Parliament, if and when necessary, of their position and will issue a statement accordingly. We are confident that they will not be affected by the anti-hopping law,” he said in a short statement released today.

Masidi was also Sabah Bersatu deputy chairman.

An announcement by GRS chairman Datuk Hajiji Noor on Saturday that most of its elected representatives would be leaving Bersatu to be directly under GRS has ignited argument and confusion over whether it would trigger the anti-party hopping law and be forced to vacate their parliamentary seats.

The four MPs are Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan who is Batu Sapi MP, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali who is Papar MP, Sipitang MP Datuk Matbali Musah and Ranau MP Datuk Jonathan Yasin.

Though they were from Bersatu, they had obtained their watikah from GRS and contested under the GRS logo. There is also talk that the four had resigned from Bersatu prior to the elections.

Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who is Bersatu vice-president, has said he will remain with the party. He had contested on a Perikatan Nasional ticket.

Earlier today, de facto law minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said said that she was waiting for an official report from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) on the matter and also that under Article 49A of the Federal Constitution on anti-party hopping, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker would have 21 days to decide after receiving an official notification.

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