Permatang Pasir by-election: BN to keep Rohaizat

(The Sun Daily) – Barisan Nasional is maintaining Rohaizat Othman  as its candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election despite him being disbarred by the Malaysian Bar in March last year.

Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi said after a meeting at the BN by-election operations centre that Rohaizat was disbarred due the action of his legal firm partner.

On the eve of nomination, the 38-year old syarie legal adviser has been swamped with rumours that he was disbarred. When contacted this afternoon, Rohaizat said he would issue a statement on the matter soon.

He also remained mum when asked if he was the one listed by the Malaysian Bar Council as having been subject to a disciplinary order on March 7 last year.

A person by his name is listed on the bar council website. According to the website, a certain Rohaizat Othman’s case to the bar council’s disciplinary board was struck off under section 103D of the Legal Profession Act 1976.

The section stipulates that the disciplinary board may make an order affirming or rejecting the finding or recommendation of the disciplinary committee, or impose a greater punishment than that recommended by the committee. Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan said he could only check and comment on the matter today.

Generally, however, he said a person who has been subject to such a move cannot practice as an attorney or a counsel, and cannot operate a legal practice.

On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Rohaizat, who is the Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary, was selected to contest in the Permatang Pasir by-election on Aug 25. His expected opponent is PAS Penang Commissioner, Mohd Salleh Man, 52.

The seat fell vacant after the death of Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman of PAS on July 31 due to a heart attack.

Mohd Hamdan had been the Permatang Pasir assemblyman for three terms from 1999. In the 12th general election last year, he polled 11,004 votes to defeat BN’s Ahmad Sahar Shuib with a 5,433-vote majority.