No by-election for Batu Lintang seat, says Sarawak Assembly Speaker

No by-election for Batu Lintang seat, says Sarawak Assembly Speaker

KUCHING: There will be no by-election for the Sarawak state constituency of Batu Lintang despite the fact that the incumbent See Chee How who won the seat on Parti Sarawak Bersatu’s (PSB) ticket had left the party recently.

Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar said that he was unable to determine that See’s action disqualified him from being a state assemblyman based on Article 17(7)(a) of the Sarawak Constitution.

Speaking at a press conference here today, the Speaker said he said received a letter from PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh on Aug 15 seeking to disqualify See as an assemblyman and enclosed a Letter of Undertaking purportedly signed by See.

Under Article 17(7)(a), for any undertaking to be effective, it must be given in writing to the House Speaker before an elected person resigned from the party under which the person stood for election.

“The Letter of Undertaking purportedly signed by YB See on Dec 3, 2021, was kept by PSB for eight months and 12 days. In this case, I did not and have never received any undertaking in writing from YB See,” Mohamad Asfia said.

Mohamad Asfia said that he would leave it to See to contest where any undertaking that the assemblyman had purportedly made with PSB before contesting as the party candidate in the last state election was voluntary or otherwise.

See, who held the Batu Lintang seat since 2011 and defended the seat in last year’s state election under PSB, resigned from the party via a letter received by the Speaker on Aug 12 which also stated that he would remain as an independent state assemblyman.

Following an announcement by Mohamad Asfia on Aug 14 of See’s resignation, Wong said See should resign as an assemblyman after leaving the party.

Wong said that based on oral and written undertakings made by See before being selected as the party’s candidate in the last state election, See also had to compensate the party if he chose to resign after winning the seat as a PSB candidate. –Bernama