Kedah Speaker Urged To Reconsider Decision On Kota Siputeh To Avert By-Election

JITRA, Aug 23 (Bernama) — Kedah state assembly Speaker Datuk Dr Abdul Isa Ismail was today urged to reconsider his decision to have Kota Siputeh assemblyman Datuk Abu Hassan Sarif vacate his seat based on Article 51 of the State Constitution.

The call came from Kubang Pasu member of parliament Datuk Wira Mohd Johari Baharom, who is also Kubang Pasu Umno division chief, who said that the PAS-led Kedah government should be focusing on the state’s development rather than fulfilling its self-interest.
“Umno is not denying the offence made by Abu Hassan, but the case can be resolved without going through a by-election,” he told reporters, here, on Sunday.
Abdul Isa had on Aug 17, written to the Election Commission (EC) to inform that the Kota Siputeh seat was vacant because the state assemblyman was absent from the assembly sitting twice in a row, on April 9 and Aug 9.
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.
Abdul Isa had been firm on his decision and rejected Abu Hassan’s apology and explanation that he was absent from the assembly sitting because he was ill.
Mohd Johari said there was no stopping the parties in the opposition pact from plotting a by-election in their bid to divert the people’s attention from much bigger issues in Selangor, Perak and Penang.
“They are hoping that by-elections will pressure the government to meet their demands,” he said.
He also hoped that all elected representatives would learn a lesson from Abu Hassan’s case, know the “dos and don’ts” and ensure that their actions would not backfire.