KULAI, Feb 24 — Parti Warisan (Warisan) has announced that it will contest the Bukit Batu state constituency, marking the party’s official entry to the Johor state election.

The announcement was made by Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal during the party’s Chinese New Year dinner at Tropical Garden Restaurant in Taman Tropika here last night.

Also present was Johor Warisan state coordinator Suhaimi Saleh and senior party officials.

Mohd Shafie said with Warisan’s participation in the upcoming state election, the party would not be contesting many seats for a start.

“In fact, our target is to be a strong Opposition in Johor.

“We will start with empowering the people in the state before we aim to establish a government at the national level in the coming 15th general election (GE15),” he said.

Mohd Shafie said voters in the Bukit Batu constituency need not worry despite Warisan’s roots as a Sabah-based party.

“We will field only young, local candidates,” he said during a press conference.

Mohd Shafie said that Warisan will also announce the actual number of seats being contested as well as candidates within a day or two.

He added that the people, especially Johor voters, should have no qualms about backing Warisan on March 12.

“Malays will not die if they do not vote for the keris, Islam will not die if they do not vote for the moon, the Chinese will not die if they do not vote for the rocket.

“Voters should not be deceived by flags and logos, but rather measure people by their actions,” said Mohd Shafie.

Later, the Semporna MP also received 1,000 membership application forms to join Warisan.

The applicants included former members of Umno, PKR, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra).

Of late, Warisan has been actively building up its membership in Johor.

Previously, Mohd Shafie was reported to have said that his party was also interested in fielding a candidate in the Permas state seat that has a large Borneo community.

Besides Warisan, Barisan Nasional (BN), Perikatan Nasional (PN), PH and Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda), the other political parties will contest in the state election. Others such as Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) and Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) have also confirmed their participation.

The Election Commission (EC) has set March 12 as polling day, with nomination day on February 26 and early voting on March 8.