Updated 7:12pm, 17 April 2009
PUTRAJAYA, 17 April 2009: The Election Commission (EC) will meet on 22 April to determine the vacancy of the Penanti state assembly seat and the need for a by-election.
EC Chairperson Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, when contacted today, said the commission would announce on 24 April the status of the state assembly seat and the date for the by-election if a vacancy occurred.
He said the Penang Election Director had received a notice of the vacancy for the seat from the Penang state assembly speaker today and the notice had been faxed to the EC Headquarters this morning.
The incumbent state assemblyperson, Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, who was also the former Penang Deputy Chief Minister I, had announced his resignation as the Penanti assemblyperson yesterday.
Mohammad Fairus, 32, said the decision was made to enable him to concentrate fully on his post-graduate study besides clearing his name following the various allegations against him. He is currently under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency
(MACC) for alleged malpractices involving a quarry, and resigned as the Penang Deputy Chief Minister I and chairperson of the State Committee on Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development, Information and Community Relations effective 8 April.
Abdul Aziz said the original notice of vacancy and the resignation letter as Penanti state assemblyperson would be brought to the EC Headquarters, here on 20 April.
He said the EC needed time to study in detail the vacancy and all aspects on the by-election before making an announcement.
He said the meeting on 22 April would also look into ways of avoiding too many party supporters acting as canvassers on polling day.
“The last by-elections had shown that too many canvassers had posed problems such as harassing the voters and causing traffic congestion at the polling centres,” he said. — Bernama