Pilihan raya kecil di Selangor?
Selangor speaker Teng Chang Khim has announced that the state assembly seat of Port Klang had fallen vacant with effect from Jan 16.
Its representative Badrul Hisham Abdullah has been absent for six months since the last assembly sitting that he attended on July 15 last year.
The decision was made under Articles 69 and 70(1) of the state constitution. There is no provision for an appeal.
The announcement may pave the way for the 15th by-election since the 2008 general elections.
Badrul, who had in 2009 quit PKR to turn Independent, was absent for all six days of the third assembly sitting from Nov 8 to 15, 2010 without permission.
“Badrul admitted his absence… in a letter which reached my office on Dec 10, seeking leave of absence as he was seeking traditional treatment in Pahang,” Teng (left) told a press conference in Shah Alam this afternoon.
“I replied on Dec 21 to say that his absence was unacceptable as he did not apply for leave before the sitting and did not give concrete reason for his late application.”
Badrul then replied on Jan 5 to apologise but did not state reasons for his late leave application.
Article 69 of state constitution provides that if a member of state legislation is absent without leave from the speaker for six months, then the seat is considered vacant.
Teng used Article 70(1) to interpret the computation of six months. It states that the sultan must call for an assembly sitting no later than six months after the last day of the previous sitting has lapsed.
He said there is no precedent for this set in Parliament or any state assembly in Malaysia.
Teng also said he has not informed the Election Commission (EC) about this, and that there is no time limit in which he has to do so.
“The period in which the EC has to call for an election will only begin after the commission receives notice of the vacancy,” he said.
Badrul has yet to be informed of the matter. He did not answer the phone when an immediate attempt was made to contact him.
Rumours of a possible 15th by-election have been swirling since last Saturday.
On Monday, Badrul had denied being absent from all days of the sitting last November, claiming he had been present on the 8th before leaving to seek treatment for an illnesss.
Asked later about this, Teng produced records showing that Badrul had not signed the attendance sheet on Nov 8.
“In his letter, Badrul also admitted that he was absent on all the days of the November sitting,” he said.
The Election Commission has not received any official notification so far on a vacancy in the Selangor state legislative assembly seat for Port Klang.
EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said speaker Teng Chang Khim should inform the EC before hand before declaring any vacancy in the state assembly seat.
“We will study and look at the law in the state of Selangor, as well as the federal constitution before making any decision whether a vacancy occurs or not,” he told Bernama when contacted.
Abdul Aziz said the EC would make a statement after receiving official notification from Teng.
He said this when asked to comment of the declaration by Teng today that the state assembly seat was vacant effective Jan 16 following the failure of the incumbent assemblyperson Badrul Hisham Abdullah to attend the state assembly sitting for six months without valid reasons.
Badrul Hisham, who won the seat on a PKR ticket, had left the party on Oct 29, 2009.