JOHOR BARU, Dec 22 — Johor state assembly speaker Suhaizan Kaiat confirmed that a state by-election will not be called following the death of its incumbent, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) assemblyman Datuk Osman Sapian yesterday.

He explained that the Kempas state seat fell vacant only yesterday and it has been more than three years since the incumbent was elected there after the 14th general election (GE14) took place in May 2018.

“Due to that, a by-election will not be called. Besides, there is also no issue of a hung state assembly as, at present, there is a one-seat majority advantage to the government.

“So, according to Clause 23 (5) of the Johor State Constitution, a by-election will not be called for the Kempas state constituency,” said Suhaizan in a WhatsApp reply to Malay Mail today.

He was responding to queries about the status of the Johor state assembly following the death of Osman, who was also a former Johor mentri besar.

Suhaizan, who expressed his condolences to Osman’s family, said he is currently abroad performing his umrah in Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday, it was reported that Osman died at 11.45pm at his son’s house in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. He was 69.

The seasoned politician was three days away from his 70th birthday on December 24.

He was earlier reported to have been recovering from surgery following a stroke in October.

Osman, who was a colourful, and at times, controversial politician, was appointed Johor’s 16th mentri besar after the historic May 12, 2018 general election.

Osman held office for 11 months, which is the shortest period for a mentri besar in the state’s history.

He resigned in April 2019.