Sibu parliamentarian Robert Lau, 68, from the Sarawak United People's Party (Supp) passed away this morning after a protracted battle with cancer, triggering yet another by-election.
His private secretary Peter Hu told Bernama that Lau passed away at 11.10am, while he was at the Selayang hospital.
Preparations are underway to transport his body to Sibu.
Lau, who is also deputy transport minister, had been Sibu MP for five terms, since 1990.
He beat Sarawak DAP chief Wong Ho Leng and PKR's Lim Chin Chuang in a three-cornered fight at the 2008 general elections.
Under election laws, a by-election will have to be called within 60 days. This will be the 11th by-election in the country - and Sarawak's second - since the last general election.
Lau won by a majority of 3,235 votes in 2008 by bagging 19,138 votes against Wong's 15,903 and Lim's 812.
Supp is likely to again face stiff competition from DAP in a contest that would set the tone for the upcoming state elections.
The constituency, which include the logging town of Sibu, is made up of Chinese (60 percent), Melanau (20 percent), Iban (18 percent) and Orang Ulu (1.1 percent).
In his latest posting in his blog entitled 'Delivering on promise, deciding the future', uploaded two months ago, Lau argued that voters should continue to vote for BN in the upcoming Sarawak state poll.
His siblings controls the KTS group, a powerful conglomerate with interest in the timber industry and the media.
KTS group owns several newspapers including the Borneo Post and Oriental Daily News.
courtesy of Malaysiakini