Penang to decide on its vacant seats after impasse

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 27 Feb 2020

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow

GEORGE TOWN: The state is waiting for the impasse at the national level to be resolved before looking at how to handle the two seats left vacant by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia assemblymen, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said the state law was amended in 2012, where a seat can be declared vacant when an assemblyman resigns or quits from his party.“The state legal adviser has informed us that the provision to declare a seat vacant when an assemblyman resigns or quits from the party is in the state’s constitution and we will act accordingly, ” Chow told reporters yesterday.

He was referring to Bersatu’s move to quit Pakatan Harapan, leaving the party’s Teluk Bahang assemblyman Zolkifly Md Lazim and Bertam assemblyman Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq in the lurch.

Article 14(A)(1) of the Constitution of the State of Penang (Amendment) Enactment 2012 states that a member of the assembly shall vacate his seat if: (a) Having been elected as a candidate of a political party, he resigns or is expelled from or ceases for any reasons whatsoever to be a member of that party; or (b) Having been elected as an independent but later joins a political party.

Of the 40 state seats in Penang, Bersatu holds two seats, DAP (19), PKR (14), Parti Amanah Negara (two), Umno (two) and PAS (one).

As such, under the state’s anti-hopping law, both the representatives would have to give up their seats.

Chow, who had an audience with Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, said they discussed matters related to the current political upheaval in Putrajaya and its effects on Penang.

“I also informed the Yang di-Pertua that there were no PKR representatives in the state who want to quit the party, ” he said.

Chow said he had impressed upon Abdul Rahman that Penang was stable and that the Governor had also expressed his confidence in Penang’s political situation.

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