‘Absentee’ BN rep leaves it up to EC

(NST) JERLUN: The Barisan Nasional state assemblyman, who came under fire for being absent from two consecutive state assemblies this year, will leave it to the Election Commission to decide on his fate as a wakil rakyat.

Datuk Abu Hassan Sarif, the representative of the Kota Siputeh constituency, said he had also explained his absenteeism from the April 19 and Aug 9 state assembly sittings to Kedah Umno liaision committee deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah.

Abu Hassan, who is also Jerlun Umno division chairman, said he was ill and was unable to attend the Aug 9 sitting.

"On that morning (Aug 9), I was preparing myself for the sitting and I felt pain in my chest.

"I was rushed to the nearest clinic here and the doctor advised me to rest for two days, from Aug 9," he said after he was approached by reporters at a ceremony to hand over khairat kematian (death compensation) to his constituents here yesterday.

Abu Hassan said he could not inform Kedah state assembly Speaker Datuk Dr Abdul Isa Ismail of his absence on the day of the incident, as he was too weak.

However, on Aug 10, Abu Hassan said he had faxed a copy of an apology letter as well as a copy of a medical certificate to Isa's office at Wisma Darulaman here.

The four-term assemblyman also said that he had tried to meet Isa to explain his failure to turn up at the sitting, when he went to the latter's house in Jitra near here on Aug 11.

"I went to the speaker's house but he was not around as he was in Kuala Lumpur," Abu Hassan said.

The next day, Abu Hassan said he had personally delivered his medical certificate, a letter on his absence and explained his absenteeism to Isa at the latter's office.

Abu Hassan also said he was disappointed with Isa's action.

He claimed that Isa did not inform the Kedah Election Commission that he was absent due to poor health.

"The speaker sent a letter without enclosing my sick leave nor informing the commission of my illness."


He said he had met the Umno legal adviser, who would look into his case. Abu Hassan however, declined to elaborate on his absence at the assembly sitting on April 9.

It was reported that Isa had sent a letter to the Kedah EC informing the commission of Abu Hassan's failure to turn up at two consecutive state assembly sittings.

Isa said under Section 51 of the state Constitution, any assemblyman who failed to attend the state assemblies for two consecutive sessions without consent of the speaker should vacate his seat.