The Dewan Rakyat, the lower chamber of Malaysia’s Parliament, formally informed the Election Commission (EC) on July 25, 2023, that the P161 Pulai Parliamentary seat in Johor was vacant. The vacancy developed due to Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), passing away suddenly. It is necessary to fill the vacancy in accordance with the Federal Constitution since Salahuddin Ayub’s passing, a well-known political figure, left a hole in the constituency.
According to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul, the procedure for filling a parliamentary vacancy is defined by Article 54 Clause (1) of the Federal Constitution. Under this constitutional clause, the Election Commission is required to fill the vacancy within 60 days of the day it becomes official that the seat is empty.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul took the initiative to inform the Election Commission of the vacancy in accordance with his constitutional duties. On July 25, 2023, the EC chairman received official news that Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub had passed away. On July 23, 2023, the late MP died in the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar, Kedah. He underwent surgery after suffering a brain haemorrhage, which was the cause of his demise.
Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul sent his condolences on behalf of the Malaysian Parliament in addition to completing the procedures mandated by the Federal Constitution. During this trying time, he expressed his condolences to the late Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub’s family. He also prayed for the soul of the deceased MP to be blessed and placed among the righteous as a sign of respect and admiration. Salahuddin Ayub was a respected public figure who contributed substantially to Malaysian politics; therefore, his demise was a loss for his family and constituency and the larger political scene.
The Election Commission now has the duty to call a by-election within 60 days to fill the empty P161 Pulai Parliamentary seat as the legal clock runs out. In between general elections, a by-election is a special election held to fill an open elected position. It allows the affected constituency’s residents to choose a new parliamentarian to represent them.
A writ of election must be issued, candidates must be nominated, and voting must occur on election day, among other crucial by-election processes. Voters will utilise their democratic right to select their new representatives as political parties and candidates gear up for the election.
As the Federal Constitution requires, the vacant P161 Pulai Parliamentary seat must be filled within 60 days of Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub’s passing. Holding a by-election to choose a new representative to serve in Parliament starts when the Dewan Rakyat notifies the Election Commission that one will be held. While Malaysia laments the passing of an accomplished politician, the country eagerly anticipates the democratic process that will choose Pulai’s next MP.