TEMERLOH: Kerdau assemblyman Datuk Zaharuddin Abu Kassim died of a heart attack at his home near here, paving the way for the country’s 16th by-election.
Zaharuddin, 63, had slipped in his bathroom at about 6.45pm yesterday after complaining of being unwell.
He was rushed to the Sultan Ahmad Shah Hospital, but doctors failed to resuscitate him.
The first-term assemblyman was pronounced dead at about 7.15pm at the intensive care unit.
OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Nor Mansor confirmed that Zaharuddin had collapsed in the bathroom of his Kampung Kerdau home.
Kuala Krau MP Datuk Ismail Said said the assemblyman, who was supposed to attend a Chinese New Year event, had felt unwell.
Sultan Ahmad Shah, who was attending a 1Malaysia Chinese New Year gathering in Raub, left the event early to visit Zaharuddin’s family and offer his condolences.
Mentakab assemblyman Datuk Chuah Boon Seong, who was also at the gathering, said: “It is truly sad for all of us in Pahang in the midst of celebrating Chinese New Year.”
In May last year, Zaharuddin was warded in critical condition at the National Heart Institute following complications after an operation to treat intestinal ulcer.
He recovered after two months.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to attend the burial ceremony, which will be held after afternoon prayers at the Kampung Paya Taram Muslim cemetery.
Zaharuddin won the Kerdau seat in a straight fight against PAS’ Hassanuddin Salim in the 2008 general election, gaining a 1,615-vote majority.
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