Terengganu rep dies, first by-election expected

Kuala Besut assemblyperson Dr A Rahman Mokhtar passed away yesterday at the Critical Care Unit (CCU) of Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah in Kuala Terengganu.

A Rahman, from Umno, is also state Terengganu exco member for Health, Family and Community development.

He died at about 10.18am Wednesday, after having been warded at the hospital’s CCU for the past seven days.

National news agency Bernama reported that the 55-year-old, who hails from Pulau Perhentian and who was reported to be in a stable condition Tuesday, died from lung cancer.

He was buried at the Teluk Bayu mosque in Kuala Besut yesterday afternoon.

He leaves behind a wife and four children.azlanA Rahman was first elected in 2008 where he defeated Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh of PAS by 2,631 votes.On May 5, he won against another PAS candidate – Napisah Ismail – with a majority of 2,434 votes.With his death, less than two months after the conclusion of the 13th general election on May 5, the country is expected to face its first by-election.The constituency has a total of 17,679 votes for the May 5 general election.Kuala Besut is seen as an Umno stronghold, but in 1999, Nik Muhammad Zawawi had managed to win the constituency for PAS when it took over as the state government.The BN-led state government, under Menteri Besar Ahmad Said, is in a precarious position as the state has 32 state seats, of which 17 was won by BN and 15 by PAS.Hence, with A Rahman’s passing, BN is left with a simple majority of one seat following the vacancy.If Pakatan wins, it would lead to a hung state legislative assembly.Malay daily Utusan Malaysia reported that the Election Commission (EC) did not dismiss the possibility that the by-election could be called during fasting month, which falls between July and August.NONEIt quoted EC chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (left), who said the elections would have to be called within 60 days after the Terengganu speaker has informed them over the vacancy.Meanwhile, according to Bernama, the EC will hold a special meeting to set the by-election date for the seat after receiving an official acknowledgement on its vacancy.EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said at the moment EC had not received any official letter from the state assembly speaker and was expecting to receive it shortly.”After that, the EC will issue an official statement when the special meeting will be held,” he told the news agency. – Malaysiakini

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