Monday, February 9, 2009

Two by-elections: One MP dies, one rep quits - Star

Feb 9, 2009

PETALING JAYA: The country will face two by-elections within the next 60 days after a Member of Parliament (MP) in Perak died, while a Kedah assemblyman quit -- both on Monday.

Bukit Gantang MP Roslan Shaharum of PAS died of a heart attack on Monday morning, while Bukit Selambau assemblyman V. Arumugam of PKR quit his seat and his position on the Kedah executive council in the afternoon.

Arumugam, the sole Indian Pakatan Rakyat state executive councillor in Kedah, resigned amidst allegations linking him to a “marriage scandal.” He won the Bukit Selambau state seat in the March 8 general election last year as an independent, then subsequently joined PKR.

He was said to have informed PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of his decision in a discreet meeting in Ipoh on Sunday.

Arumugam was the Domestic, Trade and Consumer Affairs, Siamese Community, Unity, Estate Workers and Indian Community Affairs committee chairman.

Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said that Arumugam has tended his resignation letter to the Sultan of Kedah’s office on Monday.

Arumugam was said to be under a lot of pressure to defect and had even lodged a police report on threats that he allegedly received.

Azizan said that he knew that Arumugam had personal problems but he did know the details.

He said that the state exco would be reshuffled in March and he would name someone to fill Arumugam’s post then. Until then, he himself would assume the portfolio temporarily.

“The seat is allocated to PKR thus we will select a PKR assemblyman for the seat. If PKR does not want the seat, we will then offer it to other Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen,” he said.

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