Fairus can still withdraw Penanti resignation: Karpal

(NST) – Former Penang deputy chief minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin is free to withdraw his resignation as Penanti assemblyman, lawyer and DAP chairman Karpal Singh said.

He said Fairus was legally entitled to withdraw his resignation letter anytime as the Election Commission has not accepted his quit notice and announced the by-election date.

"This is my opinion..the whole process has not been completed and I am of the opinion that he (Fairus) is entitled to withdraw his resignation letter if he wants to.

"The ball is now in his court…it is up to him to decide if he wants to retract his decision," he said hwne contacted yesterday.

Karpal said should Fairus decide to retract his resignation letter, he must do it before the Election Commission announces a date for the Penanti by-election.

"Otherwise, it will be game over for him," he said, adding Fairus should also talk it out with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) before making any decision.

Fairus was reported to have second thoughts in resigning as Penanti assemblyman and had indicated that he will rescind his resignation letter. However, Fairus came out strongly today, maintaining that his resignation letter was intact and he had no intention of withdrawing it.

The 34-year-old, who was under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for alleged corruption involving quarry operations, has since been cleared by the commission.

There has been widespread speculation that whoever is chosen to represent PKR in the by-election will also succeed Fairus as the former deputy chief minister I.

Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat has identified three potential candidates to contest in the Penanti by-election.

Penang PKR chairman Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said the candidates names had been submitted to party de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for consideration.

He said all three were local party members. However, he remained tight-lipped about the identity of the potential candidates.

Zahrain nevertheless claimed his name was not in the list.

"I don't want to stretch myself too much since I am already an MP (for Bayan Baru). I would rather focus my attention on my constituents and the party," he said.

State PKR deputy chairman Dr Mansor Othman is tipped to be one of the three potential candidates.