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Monday, 19 May 2008
PITA POLITIK (22): MAHATHIR URGES MEMBERS TO QUIT UMNO
Some who attended the Majlis Permuafakatan Melayu in Johor Bahru, 4 May 2008. ALOR STAR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and veteran party man Tan Sri Sanusi Junid announced Monday that they are quitting Umno.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced this on Monday at 12.35pm, citing a lack of confidence in the current leadership.
"I am quitting Umno today," he told about 1,000 people, mostly Kedah Umno members, at a talk here on Monday.
"I will write a letter to Umno headquarters to inform that I have quit the party," he said.
He has been critical of his appointed successor Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, blaming the current Umno president for the party's disappointing performance in the 12th general election.
The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, of which Umno is the largest component party, won the March 8 election with a simple majority, and saw four more states join Kelantan under Opposition rule.
Dr Mahathir urged other party members to quit too, as a way of pressuring Abdullah into vacating his post.
However, he advised those who do quit not to join any opposition party, adding they can all rejoin the party once there is a change in leadership.
Abdullah has so far refused all calls for him to step down, and said he would defend his presidency in the party polls in December.
Sanusi, who is a former Kedah Mentri Besar, also quit the party on Monday. (The Star Online, 19 May 2008)
Comment: It will be quite interesting to hear what the 2000 participants who attended the Majlis Permuafakatan Melayu in Johor Bahru on 4 May 2008 would say now that Tun Mahathir had quit UMNO. Tun was indirectly blamed for the use of English in Science and Mathematic in primary schools. And will the current administration reverts to the old system of reusing Malay as the language of instruction for these two subjects? As former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Musa Hitam said, " the duri dalam daging" has already come out.
Again isn't it ironic when Deputy Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak reiterates in Egypt today that the Malay language is already enshrined in the Constitution. Nobody should doubt its importance to the nation. So why then, are we still not using the Malay language in the two subjects? Dr. Chandra Muzaffar said in a recent interview, "There are other effective ways to make students more proficient in English."
As one veteran UMNO member in KL said,"Time will tell if Tun has made a right decision to quit UMNO. After all, he is not the first UMNO President who has quit the party. He is the fourth on the list."