The decision of former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to quit Umno is upsetting but it may actually be a blessing in disguise because a "thorn in the flesh" has been removed from the party, said his former deputy Tun Musa Hitam. “The news of Dr. Mahathir’s decision is indeed upsetting, especially now when Umno is facing challenging times,” said Musa in a press statement.
“However, Umno members should accept his decision calmly and with an open mind,” Musa added. He felt that the Umno leadership should instead focus on accepting the fact that the party was no longer as powerful as it used to be. Furthermore, Umno is not as widely accepted, especially by the Malays, as it once was. The Umno leaders should also accept that the concept of “Mahathirism” is outdated. They instead should return to the concept of “Bersih, cekap, amanah” which was positively received by the nation in the 1980s.
Party members ought to reflect on recent events. Musa felt that Umno has strayed from its purpose and should take this opportunity to return to its roots. “Umno is a party which is firmly grounded and does not forget to realise its promises to the people,” he said. Umno veteran and stalwart Tan Sri Aziz Tapa, 85, said that he was shocked at the news and was lost for words. “How can it be when he (Mahathir) says that he loves Umno? I met him only few days ago in Johor and everything seemed okay. What he is doing is not right,” he said when contacted here yesterday. Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik also could not come to terms with the news. “It's shocking news to me. If true, then I would say that it is an interesting yet tragic development for the party,” he said yesterday. However, both men said they were unable to comment much on the matter until a clearer picture emerged - The StaR ONLiNe
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