Kedah assembly speaker wants by-election held for Kota Siputeh
ALOR SETAR, Aug 20 – Kedah state assembly Speaker Datuk Dr Abdul Isa Ismail wants a by-election be held for the Kota Siputeh state seat which he has deemed vacant, because the incumbent assemblyman has contravened Article 51 of the State Constitution.
Datuk Abu Hassan Sarif, who is Kota Siputeh assemblyman for the fourth term, was absent from the assembly sitting twice in a row, on April 9 and Aug 9, the Speaker told a press conference, here, today.
Article 51 states that if any member of the State Legislative Assembly is absent from the assembly without leave of the Speaker for two consecutive meetings, his seat shall become vacant.
“In this regard, the YB Kota Siputeh (representative) had clearly contravened the State Constitution, and hence a by-election should be called,” said Abdul Isa.
The issue arose after Abdul Isa had on Aug 17, written to the Election Commission (EC) to inform that the Kota Siputeh seat was vacant.
Abdul Isa said although Abu Hassan came to see him on Aug 16 to apologise and explain his absence, and personally handed the original explanation letter, it was not important anymore.
He said the fact was that the Kota Siputeh assemblyman was absent on the two days (April 19 and Aug 9) without his permission as the Speaker.
“Following that, on April 17, I wrote to the Kedah EC to inform them about the matter which was then referred to the EC chairman in Putrajaya,” he added.
On Abu Hassan’s claim that he was unwell and had been advised to rest for two days on Aug 9 and 10, Abdul Isa said he was puzzled why the letter and medical chit were only faxed to him on Aug 12.
“The state assembly sat on Sug 9. He could have contacted me or the state executive council’s office but he only sent an SMS to the opposition leader, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
“If it’s true, why didn’t he SMS me as the Speaker? Before the sitting began, I announced that Sungai Tiang assemblywoman Suraya Yaacob was absent with permission as she had earlier written me a letter.”
Abu Hassan had before this explained that he was absent from the assembly sitting on Aug 9 because he was ill and had the medical chit to prove it. – Bernama