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Friday April 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday April 26, 2013 MYT 12:14:51 AM
by choong mek zhin
NON-governmental organisation Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) candidates are contesting for seats in constituencies with Malay majority and without Malay candidates from other parties.
Contesting on the Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Semalaysia (Berjasa) ticket, they have vowed to uphold the rights and voice of the Malays and Muslims in the country.
Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman, who announced the list of candidates yesterday, said the arrangement with Berjasa was a suitable one.
“It is a party that accepts our approach and objectives,” he said.
Isma was established in 1997. Currently, it has more than 10,000 members, with branches nationwide and abroad — Egypt, the United Kingdom and Australia.
On its website, it is stated that Isma’s mission is to build strength in character with a basis in Islam and unite Muslim Malaysians under one umbrella that organises activities and programmes, encouraging Muslims to be credible and responsible to religion, race and country.
In its profile page, Isma stated that it would not be involved in any party politicking.
“Malay political parties are just fighting for their own interests and power. We decided to contest to ensure that in the future political scenario, there will still be someone who is fighting for the rights of Muslims,” said Abdullah Zaik.
Among the issues they will be championing are the position of Islam in the country, Bahasa Melayu and special rights of the Malays as per the Constitution.
He said their campaign strategy was simple, with the slogan “Undilah Calon Muslim Berwibawa” (Vote for the Credible Muslim Candidate).
“We will be contesting for seats with a Malay majority constituents but without a Muslim candidate, whether from Barisan or Pakatan.
“Some say we are just out to split the votes but that is not our aim. We will not stand where a Muslim candidate is fielded,” he said.
One such seat is Wangsa Maju, where Wangsa Maju Barisan chairman Datuk Dr Shafei Abdullah has been fielded.
“Though such candidates are from another political party, we place our trust in them to not compromise on their beliefs and religion,” he said.
Isma’s finalised candidates are Abdul Halim Abdullah (Seremban), Mohamad Ismail (Subang), Mohd Hazizi Ab Rahman (Selayang), Abdul Fisol Md Isa (Alor Setar), Hamidi Abu Hassan (Padang Serai), Shaharuzzaman Bistamam (Tapah) and Pathan Hussin (Kapar) for the respective parliamentary seats.
The two contesting in Subang and Alor Setar will also be running for state seats in Kajang (Selangor) and Derga (Kedah) respectively.
“We will not be pulling out after this as we want to focus on campaigning,” said Abdullah Zaik.
For more election stories, please visit The Star’s GE13 site
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