MB: Pekan will be taken care of

KUANTAN: Pahang Umno will take care of the Pekan parliamentary constituency after its MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak goes to jail following the Federal Court’s decision to uphold the former prime minister’s conviction, says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.

In expressing his sadness over the conviction, Wan Rosdy (pic), who is the Pahang Umno chief, said the constituency would continue to be managed and given due attention for the benefit of the people.

“For us, Najib’s service and contribution in developing and advancing the state of Pahang and this country throughout his tenure as prime minister and as the Pahang mentri besar in the past are very great,” said Wan Rosdy in a statement.

He added that Pahang Umno greatly appreciates Najib’s service and contribution.

Najib took over the Pekan parliamentary seat at the age of 23 after the death of his father Tun Abdul Razak in 1976.

The former prime minister retained the seat in the 14th General Election (GE14) in 2018 but fell short of achieving his target of a 40,000-vote majority.

Najib won with a majority of 24,859 votes, defeating PAS’ Ahiatudin Daud, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Muhammad Zahid Md Arip and Independent candidate Abd Kadir Sainudin.

In PUTRAJAYA, legal experts said a by-election will not be triggered should Najib lose his status as Pekan MP.

Political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said although the Federal Constitution states that a vacancy in the Dewan Rakyat has to be filled within 60 days of its vacancy, there is an exception to the rule. If the vacancy happens less than two years from the end of Parliament’s five-year term, a by-election need not be held, he said.

The current parliamentary term ends in July 2023.

Constitutional expert Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said it would probably take a while for the seat to be declared vacant.

He pointed out that Najib has 14 days to apply for a pardon.

“If Najib applies for a pardon, he remains as Pekan MP until the pardon has been processed either way,” he added.

To date, since GE14, 11 by-elections have been held, of which five involved parliamentary seats. They are Kimanis, Tanjung Piai, Sandakan, Cameron Highlands and Port Dickson.

By-elections for the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat in Sabah and Gerik in Perak were not held because a state of emergency was declared due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the factors that could lead to a by-election are the death, resignation or disqualification of an MP or assemblyman, nullification of an election result by the court and expulsion of an MP from the House.

According to Article 48 of the Federal Constitution, an elected representative who has been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to one year in jail or fined not less than RM2,000 will be disqualified.

The ruling government currently has 113 seats – Barisan Nasional has 42, Perikatan Nasional (47), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (19), Parti Bangsa Malaysia (three), while Parti Bersatu Sabah and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah have one each.

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Wan Rosdy , Pekan , Umno ,


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