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No decision yet on Penanti: Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 April 2009: Umno is still undecided on whether it will field a candidate in the Penanti by-election.

 Party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the matter would be discussed further by the Umno political bureau, which he chairs.

 However, he would not say when the bureau would meet and appeared to be in no hurry as to when a decision would be made when asked by reporters.

 ”Why should I tell you everything?” he said at a press conference after an Umno supreme council meeting today. It was the first council meeting since the party elections last month and since Najib won the party presidency unopposed.

 The Penanti seat has more than a 70% Malay Malaysian electorate, and was contested by Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin and Umno’s Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majib in the March 2008 general election. Fairus won by a 2,219 vote majority.

 Fairus vacated the seat on 16 April saying that he wanted to further his studies and spend time with his family.

 It was also speculated that he would retract his resignation when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said it had no case against him, but Fairus today confirmed his resignation.

 The Election Commission is to announce whether there will be a by-election on 27 April.

Najib said Fairus’ resignation was improper and said the former Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1 ought to have remembered the pledge he took to serve his electorate for a full term until the next election.

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