As the Galas state constituency in Kelantan prepares for a by-election following the death of assemblyman Che Hashim Sulaiman, PAS vice president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has drawn attention to the Appeals Court's much delayed judgement on the fate of Jerlun UMNO division head Abu Hassan Sarip as the state assemblyman for Kota Siputeh.
Tuan Ibrahim reminded the Election Commission (EC) to pressure the Court over the pending judgement, which todate has been delayed by eight months.
In February 2010, the EC said the Appeals Court would decide on the status of the Kota Siputeh state seat, whether it would remain with Barisan Nasional, following a move by the Kedah state assembly to declare the seat vacant because Abu Hassan had been absent at two state assembly sittings consecutively.
“We are awaiting the decision of the Appeals Court after the panel of judges study the written judgment by the High Court Judge,” EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar had said.
Recalling the statement, Tuan Ibrahim urged the Appeal Court to expedite its judgement, saying it was not right to leave the seat vacant for too long.
“The people in Kota Seputih has been left without a legal representative," he said.
Abu Hassan's absence violated Article 51 of the Kedah state constitution, prompting the state speaker Dr Abdul Isa Ismail Abu Hassan to prevent him from attending the State Assembly’s budget sitting in November last year.
On Nov 23 2009, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin dismissed the application by the EC to postpone the order made by him earlier at the High Court on Nov 16, 2009 when he declared the Kota Siputeh state seat vacant and that Abu Hassan was no longer its assemblyman.
He had also ordered the Commission to issue a writ for a by-election. However, EC later had instead filed an appeal at the Putrajaya Appeals Court.