TEMERLOH: Kerdau assemblyman Datuk Zaharuddin Abu Kassim died of a heart attack at his home near here, paving the way for the country’s 16th by-election.
Zaharuddin, 63, had slipped in his bathroom at about 6.45pm yesterday after complaining of being unwell.He was rushed to the Sultan Ahmad Shah Hospital, but doctors failed to resuscitate him.
The first-term assemblyman was pronounced dead at about 7.15pm at the intensive care unit.
OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Nor Mansor confirmed that Zaharuddin had collapsed in the bathroom of his Kampung Kerdau home.
Kuala Krau MP Datuk Ismail Said said the assemblyman, who was supposed to attend a Chinese New Year event, had felt unwell.
Sultan Ahmad Shah, who was attending a 1Malaysia Chinese New Year gathering in Raub, left the event early to visit Zaharuddin’s family and offer his condolences.
Mentakab assemblyman Datuk Chuah Boon Seong, who was also at the gathering, said: “It is truly sad for all of us in Pahang in the midst of celebrating Chinese New Year.”
In May last year, Zaharuddin was warded in critical condition at the National Heart Institute following complications after an operation to treat intestinal ulcer.
He recovered after two months.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to attend the burial ceremony, which will be held after afternoon prayers at the Kampung Paya Taram Muslim cemetery.
Zaharuddin won the Kerdau seat in a straight fight against PAS’ Hassanuddin Salim in the 2008 general election, gaining a 1,615-vote majority. - Star, 13/2/2011, Kerdau rep dies, 16th by-election on the cards
Kerdau assemblyperson Zaharuddin Abu Kassim, 63, from Umno died at Temerloh's Hospital Sultan Ahmad Shah at 7.15pm today.
The Pahang state representative, who had been in and out of hospital over the past one year, had earlier fell in his bathroom at his home in Temerloh.
Zaharuddin had previously been admitted to the hospital twice due to kidney
complication as well as a heart ailment and unstable blood pressure in May and
November last year.
"Datuk Zaharuddin was confirmed as having suffered a heart attack," Temerloh OCPD, ACP Mohd Noor Mansor told Bernama.
His passing sets the stage for the 16th by-election - and the first in Pahang - since the 2008 general elections.
Under the election laws, the Election Commission will have to call a by-election within 60 days.
At present, rival political parties are preparing for the 15th by-election in Merlimau, Malacca on March 6, which has been called due to death of state assemblyperson Mohamad Hidhir Abu Hassan.
Of the 14 by-elections so far, Pakatan Rakyat has won eight, while BN six.
Given that both Merlimau and Kerdau are BN strongholds, the ruling coalition is expected to even the score ahead of the upcoming general elections.
12 elected reps died since 2008Since the 2008 general elections, 12 elected representatives had died from various illnesses, including heart problems, cancer, stroke and lung infection.
Of the remaining four, three by-elections were held after incumbent representative quit their seats in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary and Penanti and Bukit Selambau state seats.
One other by-election was held in Batu Sapi, Sabah after its MP Edmund Chong died in a road accident.
The number of by-elections in the past three years is the highest in the country's electoral history.
Kerdau is an overwhelmingly Malay-majority seat with the community comprising 89 percent of the 8,451 voters, while 5.6 percent are Chinese and 3.6 percent Indians.
In the 2008 general elections, Zaharuddin beat PAS candidate hassanudin Salim with a majority of 1,615 votes.In 2004, Umno's Redzwan Harun won the seat with a much higher majority of 2,565.
He suddenly lost conciousness
Zaharuddin had also been treated at the National Heart Institute for two months for kidney complication and heart ailment after undergoing surgery for intestinal ulcer at the Hospital Sultan Ahmad Shah Temerloh in May last year.
Meanwhile, Kuala Krau member of parliament Ismail Mohamed Said said Zaharuddin was taken to hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit, but was confirmed dead while receiving treatment.
"According to his aide, Zaharuddin had earlier complained of stomach ache and his aide had taken him to the bathroom, where he suddenly fell and lost consciousness," he said when met at the hospital.
Ismail said Zaharuddin was then preparing to attend a Chinese New Year gathering in Temerloh.
He said Zaharuddin would be laid to rest at the Kampung Paya Taram Muslim Cemetery, Kerdau after the Zohor prayer tomorrow. - Malaysiakini, 12/2/2011, Kerdau state rep dies, 16th by-election beckons