Penang Speaker confirms receiving copy of letter from Penanti assemblyman

(The Star) GEORGE TOWN: Voters in Penanti state constituency in Seberang Perai will go through another by-election in under eight months.

Former Penang Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) 1 Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, who is assemblyman for the state seat located in Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency which had a by-election on Aug 26, quit as assemblyman yesterday.

Penang Speaker Abdul Halim Hussin confirmed receiving a faxed copy of Mohammad Fairus’ resignation letter but refused to reveal who the letter was from.

“We will inform the Election Commission (EC) as soon as possible,” he said, when asked to confirm that the Penanti seat had been vacated, adding that he would provide more details today.

Fairus’ undated but signed press statement announcing his resignation was emailed to media organisations by PKR headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Strangely, the statement bore the title “ADUN 14 Penanti” when Penanti’s seat number is actually N 12.

In the statement, Fairus said he made this decision after looking at “realistic considerations the people whom I represent as well as to protect the interest of PKR.”

“This decision enables me to focus on my post-graduate studies and allows me more time with my family which I have sacrificed when I was carrying out my duties,” he said.

Mohammad Fairus added that his resignation would allow him to focus on clearing his name from all accusations that were thrown at him.

He said he was grateful and appreciated the support received from the people of Penanti while he was the assemblyman. Attempts to reach Fairus were unsuccessful.

Fairus’ latest move comes a day after he gave an interview with Nanyang Siang Pau.

He claimed that it was all part of a well-crafted plot to frame him and gave PKR two weeks to clear his name or he would expose the inside story of PKR and the Penang Government.

Fairus’ resignation also comes just under four weeks after he stepped down as Penang’s Deputy Chief Minister II following allegations of an involvement in illegal activities with local quarry operators.

Since the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission completed its investigations on him last week, reporters have been staking out the Butterworth court as he was expected to be charged at anytime.

If held, the by-election for Penanti will be the sixth to be held after the 2008 general election.

Of the five previous by-elections, two – Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat and Bukit Selambau state seat – resulted from resignation of PKR-elected representatives.

The rest were the result of deaths of the elected representatives.