SEREMBAN: Rantau independent candidate Mohd Nor Yassin (pic, centre) wants to continue the struggles of the late Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat in championing the cause of Islam.
Mohd Nor's recently released campaign manifesto has even dovetailed teachings of the late PAS spiritual leader Niz Aziz, which include Islamic-based progress, well-rounded human development and multiracial unity.
However, the former lecturer, who is also a former PAS member, maintained that he was independent and not part of either PAS or Parti Amanah Negara, its splinter party.
Mohd Nor said he did not emulate Nik Aziz because of his attachment to the Islamist party, but rather due to the former Kelantan Mentri Besar's exemplary leadership.
"I used to be in political parties but today, I'm an independent candidate. I will continue the struggles of Tok Guru (Nik Aziz).
"Tok Guru (Nik Aziz) is not a party. He was a leader who strongly held on to Islam and I also aspire to be such a leader," Mohd Nor, 67, told reporters after his walkabout at Kampung Sega Hilir on Thursday (April 4).
As such, the main focus of his five-pronged manifesto was the late Nik Aziz's agenda of developing people who are balanced and harmonious physically, spiritually, emotionally and intellectually.
"This includes to have good thoughts about other races and self strength. It should not be like today, whereby racism is prevalent," he said.
For example, he said that there had been unsavoury comments about his rivals Pakatan Harapan's Dr S. Streram and Barisan Nasional's Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
He said Dr Streram had been described as "kafir" (unbeliever) while Mohamad was called a "perompak" (robber).
"Actually, the language used is too radical and Tok Guru (Nik Aziz) wouldn't want that.
"To reject him (Dr Streram) and call him a 'kafir', I don't see any Muslim humanity by saying things like that.
"We should be good to each other as Malaysians. We have similarities. In today's Malaysia, what we want to find is unity among the races," he said.
The other key focus in Mohd Nor's manifesto includes the people's welfare and representing the community's voice.
Mohd Nor had courted controversy when he turned up at the nomination centre at SJKC Bandar Sri Sendayan on March 30, clad in green baju melayu and claiming to be a PAS member.
PAS, however, quickly issued a statement clarifying that Mohd Nor, who stood for PAS in Gemencheh in the 2013 general election, had joined Amanah recently.
Amanah said he had gone against the party constitution when he stood as an independent without seeking permission, and expelled him.
Mohd Nor flew under the radar, telling the media that he needed time to make some internal preparations. He then started campaigning on Thursday after a four-day hiatus.
When asked to comment on the issue, Mohd Nor said that as an independent candidate, he was free to move forward.
"In elections such as this one, there will be a lot of controversial issues. But I'm free to move forward. Let bygones be bygones," he said.
Mohd Nor, however, added that he found it odd that PAS did not compete in this by-election but rather "colluded with a problematic group such as Umno".
"The PAS leadership has to be careful because they are bringing their followers. Meanwhile, those who can see how this is an issue can follow me. I want to carry the message that the truth should be perpetuated," he added.
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