By-elections: Nomination on March 29, polling April 7-Malaysiakini

Voters go to the ballots on April 7 for both the Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state by-elections, the Election Commission announced Friday.

Nomination day would be on March 29, Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said.

Both seats were vacated on Monday. In Perak, Bukit Gantang Member of Parliament Roslan Shaharum of PAS died of a heart attack, while in Kedah, a resignation letter was received by Bukit Selambau state assemblyman V. Arumugam from PKR.

Arumugam, also a state executive council member, quit because of allegations surrounding his second marriage.

In his resignation letter to Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, he had also appended a statutory declaration alleging that he was being harassed and pressured by certain elements in Barisan Nasional to jump ship from PKR.

In the 12th general election last March, Arumugam had contested as an independent against MIC secretary S. Krishnan, beating him by a 2,362-vote majority. He joined PKR after that.

Arumugam has been missing since then. Attempts to contact him or his family have been futile.

Azizan said that the state would continue searching for Arumugam, who has been missing over the past few days, and that his state exco portfolios would be handled by state Tourism, Community Development and Human Resources Committee chairman Mohammad Radzhi Salleh.

Arumugam had chaired the Domestic, Trade and Consumer Affairs, Unity, Siamese Community Affairs, Estate Workers and Indian Community Affairs Committee.

The Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections would make it four by-elections to be held since the 12th general election last March.

The first was in Permatang Pauh last year when its Member of Parliament Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail stepped down to make way for her husband, now Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to contest.

Anwar won the seat, which marked his return to Parliament after a decade.

The second was in Kuala Terenganu in January following the death of its MP Datuk Razali Ismail last Nov 28.

PAS candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut won the seat, beating Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh and independent Azharuddin Mamat @ Adam.

The kate Bukit Gantang MP Roslan, 50, who leaves behind a wife and 11 children, was formerly the human resource director of Perak Economic Development Corporation.

Last July, he was named chairman of Perak’s education foundation, Yayasan Perak.

In the March 8 general election last year, Roslan had polled 20,015 votes against Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi’s (Barisan Nasional) 18,449 votes.

The third candidate was an independent, M. Morgan, who got 872 votes.

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