KOTA BARU: TWO state Umno division heads were among those dropped from contesting in the 13th General Election as announced by state Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed yesterday.
They were Kubang Kerian chief Fauzi Ismail and Rantau Panjang division head Abdullah Mat Yassim.
Mustapa said 25 new faces would contest 14 parliamentary and 45 state seats in Kelantan.
"The list is a combination of old and new faces, ulama, pensioners and professionals. This is to maintain the balance of change and stability in the party."
Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who has been speculated to defend his Pasir Mas parliamentary seat on a BN ticket, was not included in the list.
The seat will be contested by Umno division deputy chief Che Johan Che Pa, said to be Ibrahim's protege.
Among those standing for the first time were two women. Nik Noriza Nik Salleh will be contesting in Pasir Pekan and Dayang Saniah Awang Hamid in Kemahang state constituencies.
Mustapa will defend his Jeli parliamentary seat and contest in the Air Lanas state seat. Other state party leaders, including deputy state Umno chief Datuk Dr Awang Adek Husin, will stand again in Bachok, Tan Sri Annuar Musa in Ketereh and party veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in Gua Musang, all parliamentary seats.
Seven former state assemblymen retained were Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar (Pengkalan Kubur), Mohd Adhan Kecik (Bukit Bunga), Datuk Abdul Aziz Derashid (Kuala Balah), Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad (Kok Lanas), Mat Yusoff Abdul Ghani (Nenggiri), Datuk Nozula Mat Diah (Paloh) and Ab Aziz Yusoff (Galas).
MCA sole candidate, Tan Ken Ten, will contest the Kota Lama state seat while the People's Progressive Party (PPP) will also be putting up a candidate in the state for the first time.
Its vice-president and state chief Datuk Nik Sapeia Nik Yusof will be contesting the Guchil state seat.
Newcomer Mohd Shamsul Mohd Yusoff, a representative of the ulama group who will be contesting in the Pasir Tumbuh state seat, thanked BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Mustapa for selecting him.
"I will not let down the trust given by the party. My first mission is to upgrade religious learning in the state, especially in my area.
"I plan to help those interested in learning about the religion and conduct regular classes in the area apart from helping and solving other problems faced by the people," said Shamsul.