ALOR SETAR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate M Karupaiya died on Wednesday (Nov 16) after collapsing during campaigns for Malaysia's upcoming 15th General Election.
The 69-year-old was to defend his Padang Serai parliamentary seat.
The Kulim District Police Chief Superintendent Mohd Redzuan Salleh said Mr Karupaiya died at Kulim Hospital at 2.27pm.
His death was confirmed by PH secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
"It is with great sadness and sorrow that I inform that Karupaiya A/L Mutusami, former Member of Parliament for Padang Serai and the Pakatan Harapan candidate for Padang Serai (in GE15) passed away today.
"The last time we met was on Nov 14 on a ceramah (political rally) stage in Kulim. He gave a brief speech and applauded at the end of the PH chairman's speech," he said.
Mr Saifuddin said Mr Karupaiya was a former Warrant Officer 1 of the Malaysian Armed Forces and was head of the Padang Serai PKR (People's Justice Party) division.
He said Mr Karupaiya's services in parliament as well as the Padang Serai PKR division and the Malaysian Armed Forces will always be remembered.
Malaysia's Election Commission (EC) said it would hold a special meeting on Friday to set key dates for conducting the GE15 Padang Serai parliamentary seat contest, in the wake of Mr Karupaiya's death.
A statement will be issued after the meeting, said EC secretary Ikmalrudin Ishak.
“EC has received the Writ of Election which was returned by the Returning Officer for the constituency, spelling out the facts concerning the death of the candidate,” he said in a statement.
Mr Karupaiya was to defend the seat in a six-cornered fight with Hamzah Abd Rahman (Pejuang), C Sivaraj (Barisan Nasional), Mohd Bakhri Hashim (Warisan), Azman Nasrudin (Perikatan Nasional) and independent candidate Sreanandha Rao in the election on Saturday.
Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate C Sivaraj expressed his sadness over the passing of the candidate and incumbent Member of Parliament for Padang Serai.
Mr Sivaraj also expressed his condolences to Mr Karupaiya's wife and children and supporters and described him as an ex-soldier who had spent part of his life in public service and also in the political world.
"As a representative of MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) and BN, I am very shocked by this news. It is a huge and unexpected loss for the community of Padang Serai. May his soul rest in peace," he said.