MALACCA, March 18 - malaysianinsider
A week to crucial Umno polls that he has been barred from contesting, Datuk Seri Mohamed Ali Rustam said today he would appeal the decision as he had done no wrong.
Saying he accepted the decision with an open heart, Ali disclosed that he had refuted all allegations in the party's disciplinary board hearing.
The popular Melaka chief minister also apologised to his supporters and urged them to be calm and close ranks for the sake of party unity.
The Umno disciplinary board yesterday said they found him guilty of breaching the party's ethics and barred him from contesting in the party's polls.
However, his positions and membership in the party is not affected and he remains as the chief minister and Umno vice-president in what is seen as a compromise due to his popularity.
Ali, who is said to be one of the stronger contender in the three-cornered contest for the number two post was found guilty under Article 10.1 of the party's code of ethics, whereby he was presumed guilty for the actions of third parties.
Three of his agents who included his political secretary Saadun Basirun were found guilty of vote buying and have been suspended for three years or one term.
The other two other are a committee member of Bukit Katil Umno division Rosli Hasan and its Puteri wing deputy head Zalina Ismail