Sep 17, 2008

Tun Mahathir to rejoin UMNO

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is expected to officially rejoin the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) later Wednesday, according to his son, UMNO Youth executive council member Mukhriz Mahathir.

SHAH ALAM, Sept 16 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth executive council member Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir said Tuesday his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took the decision to rejoin Umno after being persuaded by several quarters who wanted him to return and help strengthen the party.

He said they managed to persuade the former prime minister that his services were needed within the party and not outside it.

"The decision to rejoin Umno was made by himself and God willing, he will submit his membership application form soon, possibly before Aidilfitri," he told a press conference after attending a breaking of the fast function organised by Umno Youth's International Relations and Non-Governmental Organisations Bureau here.

On talk that Mahathir would officially rejoin Umno Wednesday, Mukhriz said: "My father did not mention it, so I think it might not necessarily be tomorrow."

Mukhriz, who is also the Member of Parliament for Jerlun, said several Umno branches and divisions had invited Mahathir to join them and it was up to him to make the choice.

Meanwhile, commenting on the resignation of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Mukhriz described it as a 'hit and run' because one moment he was in the government and the next he decided to run away.

"I noticed while he was in the government, he was trying more to realise the opposition's manifesto like the Judicial Appointments Commission, the issue of the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Internal Security Act, all of which were not mentioned in the Barisan Nasional manifesto for the recent general election," he said, adding that he was not disappointed by Zaid's resignation.

On another matter, he said Umno divisions should allowed to carry out their divisional meetings next month without any interference.

"The party's interest must be the overriding factor and not the personal interests of anyone. The grassroots must have their say and this is important if Umno is to be strong again," he said.

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