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Monday, February 2, 2009

> Two Perak Assemblymen quit

Two Perak State Assemblymen from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), who had been 'missing' since last Monday, announced their resignation with immediate effect today.

Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar said the State Assemblyman for Behrang, Jamaluddin Mat Radzi, and State Assemblyman for Changkat Jering, Mohd Osman Jailu, handed their resignation letter at his residence at 5.45pm, Sunday.

In a statement faxed to the media offices here, Sivakumar said he would inform the Election Commission (EC) to hold a by-election within 60 days.

"I received the letters of resignation from the two State Assemblymen based on Article XXXV of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution.

"As such, I as the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly declare that there are two vacant seats N14 Changkat Jering and N59 Behrang immediately," he said.

Sivakumar said he would get in touch with the EC tomorrow to hold a by-election within 60 days as required by Article XXXVI (5) of the Perak State Constitution.

Both the Assemblymen could not be contacted by the state government and their families since last Monday and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin this morning asked both Assemblymen to declare their stand immediately if they had left the Perak Pakatan Rakyat state government.

He said the state government was ready to make preparations and plan a strategy according to existing regulations to face any eventuality.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with Perak PAS, DAP and PKR leaders, Mohammad Nizar said the state government might lodge a police report on the disappearance of the two State Exco members after discussing with their families.

Jamaluddin, 52, was the Chairman of the State Committee on Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development, Agriculture and Plantations, while Osman, 57, was the Chairman of the State Committee on Tourism, Human Development and Non-Governmental Organisations.

Both of them are facing graft charges involving the approval of a development project worth RM180 million in Seri Iskandar and the case will be heard at the Sessions Court here on Feb 10.

With the two vacancies, the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government comprising PAS, the DAP and PKR now has 30 seats (18 DAP, 6 PKR and 6 PAS) while the Barisan Nasional has 27.

In the general election in March 2008, the BN won 28 seats but the Bota Assemblyman, Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim defected to the PKR last week.

Mohammad Nizar said the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Perak was still strong even under the present circumstances as all the other State Assemblymen were still sticking to the Pakatan Rakyat.

In the last general election, Jamaluddin polled 6,771 votes to beat the BN candidate, Datuk M. Ramasamy who received 5,744 votes.

Mohd Osman won with a majority of 1,102 votes to wrest Changkat Jering. He polled 9,411 votes to beat the incumbent from BN and the State Speaker in the previous government, Datuk Mat Isa Ismail who garnered 8,309 votes - Bernama.