Kuala Besut to see first by-election after GE13


BESUT: Kuala Besut assemblyman Datuk Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar died at Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital in Kuala Terengganu yesterday. He was 55.

With his death, the state constituency will have to go through a by-election less than two months after the 13th General Election.

Dr Rahman died at 10.18am due to lung failure after being warded at the hospital’s intensive care unit since June 20. He had complained of chest pains and breathing difficulties.

He had gone into a coma while being treated at  Jertih Hospital earlier that day and was transferred to Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital. He died without regaining consciousness.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak offered his condolences to the late assemblyman's family.

"This morning, we lost a politician with great calibre who had done much for the party and the country," he said in a Facebook posting yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also offered his condolences, according to Bernama.

Dr Rahman's wife, Datin Azizah Nik Omar, said her husband's last wish before slipping into coma was for their daughter, Nurul Najihah, 19, to follow in his footsteps by becoming a doctor.

She said she would try her best to fulfil her husband's wish, adding that Nurul Najihah was currently undergoing a matriculation course.

"He also told our second son, Mohd Razahan, to take care of the family and not to miss his prayers.

"My husband had been complaining of chest pains for the past six months, but we did not expect to lose him so suddenly."

Dr Rahman, who was state Health, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman, was buried at the Teluk Bayu mosque cemetery yesterday evening after Asar prayers.

He leaves behind Azizah, 53, and four children. Besides Nurul Najihah and Razahan, 28, the former Besut Umno division secretary had two sons, Mohd Zaihan, 30, and Mohd Zafuan, 27.

State health director Datuk Dr Anwa Sulaiman said Azizah and her four children were at Dr Rahman's side when he died yesterday, along with several specialists.

"He was on a ventilator since being warded at Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital and had not undergone any operation for his lung complication.

"He was a good, kind-hearted boss during his tenure as the state Health Committee chairman," Dr Anwa said, adding that Dr Rahman's death was a great loss to the committee as he was an experienced doctor.

Dr Rahman was one of the four state executive council members who retained their seats in this year's polls, along with Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said in Kijal, Seberang Takir assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman and Telemong's Rozi Mamat.

State Science and Technology Committee chairman Razif told the New Straits Times that the state executive council meeting scheduled in Kuala Lumpur yesterday was cancelled to enable them to return to Terengganu to pay their respects.

State Speaker Mohd Zubir Embong said he would officially notify the Election Commission today on the vacancy of the Kuala Besut state seat so that preparations for a by-election could be made.

Kuala Besut state assemblyman Datuk Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar lapsed into a coma and died without regaining consciousness yesterday.

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