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Perak speaker informs EC two vacant state seats

IPOH, 2 Feb 2009: Perak state legislative assembly speaker V Sivakumar has handed over an official letter to the Election Commission (EC) informing that the Behrang and Changkat Jering seats are now vacant.

In a one-paragraph statement faxed to Bernama here, he said, the letter was handed over to Perak EC director Ahmad Adli Abdullah at 8am at the EC office here.

Yesterday, Sivakumar announced he had received the resignation letters of Behrang assemblyperson Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyperson Mohd Osman Jailu.

The two Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) assemblypersons, however, denied that they had resigned.

They claimed that the letters received by Sivakumar were the undated resignation letters which they signed after the 12th general election in March 2008.

Ahmad Adli, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed he had received the letter and said he would hand it to the EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof for further action.

Asked whether the declaration of the two seats’ vacancy was valid in view of Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman’s denials, Abdul Adli said he would leave the matter to the EC chairman to decide.

“Today is a public holiday in Putrajaya (in conjunction with the Federal Territories Day). I think we can expect a decision tomorrow,” he said.

Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman would hold a separate news conference in Shah Alam and Kuala Lumpur respectively this afternoon.

Both of them went missing for days last week, fuelling speculations that they were joining the Barisan Nasional.

Yesterday, Sivakumar announced the duo’s resignations just hours after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi alluded to the possibility of several Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives in Perak joining the national coalition.

When contacted by Bernama last night, the two assemblymen described Sivakumar’s announcement as a lie and said they would consult their lawyers to discuss the next course of action.

Jamaluddin, who is entrepreneur and cooperatives development, agriculture and plantation committee chairman, and Mohd Osman who is tourism, human capital and non-governmental organisation committee chairman, said they had never said that they were leaving PKR or becoming independent assemblypersons or joining Umno.

Meanwhile, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was at Istana Kinta at about 10am today to seek an audience with the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.

Mohammad Nizar, who was seen leaving the palace about half an hour later, was believed to have informed the Sultan on the latest political development in the state.

He did not stop to speak to the media, merely saying, “Thank you, I’ll see you another time,” and waved to the reporters as he cruised by in his new Toyota Camry official car.

In the March 2008 general election, Jamaluddin defeated BN candidate Datuk M Ramasamy with a 1,027-vote majority while Mohd Osman beat another BN candidate Datuk Mat Isa Ismail with a majority of 1,102 votes.

Both are facing corruption charges related to the approval of housing projects worth RM180 million in Sri Iskandar.

The Ipoh Sessions Court has fixed three days, starting 10 Feb, to hear the case.

Pakatan Rakyat won 31 seats in the March 2008 general election but it is now controlling 32 seats after Bota assemblyperson Datuk Nasarudin Hashim defected to PKR last week. BN has 27 seats. — Bernama

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