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Pilihanraya kecil Ijok tak boleh dielakkan

Ijok By-Election Inevitable, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 (Bernama) - A by-election for the Ijok state seat in Selangor is inevitable following the death of state executive councillor Datuk K. Sivalingam who died of a heart attack in Chennai, India, today, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Wednesday.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who conveyed his condolences to Sivalingam's family, said: "Going by the constitutional provisions, it looks like we cannot avoid a by-election for Ijok represented by Sivalingam.

"We've to have another by-election although the by-election for the Machap state seat in Melaka has not ended.

Najib, who is also Defence Minister, was speaking at a press conference to announce higher allowance for the Army Volunteer Reserve Force.

Sivalingam, 59, is the second Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblyman to have died within a span of 20 days. On March 15, Melaka MCA chief and Machap assemblyman Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam, 55, died of cancer and renal failure.

Sivalingam, who is also Selangor MIC deputy chairman, died after collapsing at the Chennai Airport upon arrival from Malaysia.

He was rushed to a private nursing home in Chennai where he was pronounced dead at 10.40am (India Time) (1.10pm Malaysia time) due to a heart attack.

Meanwhile, Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said a by-election has to be held as the term of the state assembly was not three years yet.

The assembly's first sitting was on April 13, 2004 after the last general election.

Under the state constitution, a by-election must be held should a seat falls vacant when the term of the state assembly had not touch three years, he told Bernama when contacted in South Africa,

Rashid said he had asked his officers to arrange for a meeting next week to discuss about the vacant seat.

In SHAH ALAM, Selangor State Legislative Assembly speaker Tan Sri Onn Ismail said he had informed the EC on Sivalingam's death.

He also confirmed the state assembly's term was not three years yet.

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