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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28, 2015:Umno’s Fadzillah Hussin, who has made public her intention to contest in the Chempaka state seat by-election, describes a warning issued by Kelantan Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed as a mere “political statement”. Speaking to MalaysiaGazette, Fadzillah, who planned to contest as an independent candidate, said that although she had been a member of Umno’s Kepala Batas division in Tumpat since she was 18, she had never held a post or played an active role in the party. “I have been a member of Umno for a long time and have given my undivided support to the party.

“However, I see Tok Pa’s (Mustapa’s) warning simply as a political statement that has no effect whatsoever on me. “If I am stripped of my membership, it still won’t affect my intention of contesting as I am a person who supports the government’s principles.” Yesterday, Mustapa told reporters that Umno members should abide by the party’s decision not to contest in the by-election and that those who did so under the guise of independent candidates would have action taken against them.

This comes after Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak confirmed that the party would not be fielding a candidate in order to focus on post-flood relief work in Kelantan. Fadzillah, who is also the chief of two non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Kelab Bumi Rahmat and Keturunan Paduka Raja Cik Siti Wan Kembang Malaysia, said she would not hesitate to form a new party named after one of the organisations. “I will hold my first speech entitled ‘Kelantan Malay Muslims’ Unity’. The date, venue and the reason I am competing will be informed later,” she said as quoted by the portal. On claims that she was sponsored by certain quarters to take part in the March 22 by-election, Fadzillah told Malay daily Sinar Harian that the allegation was not true. Instead, she said the decision was made out of her own will, motivated by her desire to repair ties among Malays in Kelantan, which had deteriorated from endless disagreements. “It is not the position that I am after. I just want to build a strong enough platform to spread knowledge and propaganda aimed at the betterment of people,” said Fadzillah, adding that she had wanted to be an election candidate for the past 20 years. The Chempaka state seat fell vacant following the death of PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat on Feb 12. The Election Commission has set March 10 for nomination and March 22 for polling.

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