Dr Mahathir Mohamad made a surprise entry on the last day of the Umno general assembly after having declared yesterday that he would snub the meeting following the election of Khairy Jamaluddin as the new Umno Youth chief.
At 12.30pm, he walked into the hall as newly-elected deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin was making his closing remarks.
Immediately, Muhyiddin acknowledged Mahathir's presence and welcomed him as the former Umno president was ushered to the VIP seats.
Najib Abdul Razak's wife, Rosmah Mansor, was seen greeting and attending to Mahathir, who was accompanied by Dr Siti Hasmah.
The two speakers after Muhyiddin, Najib and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, also welcomed Mahathir and wife to the assembly.
(BERNAMA) Former prime minister and Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Saturday he will rejoin Umno.
He said he would announce the date of his return to the party at a suitable time “after (sorting out) several matters”.
“I have to fill up a form. It takes some time. I will let you know later. I am waiting for certain events,” he told reporters after attending the Umno General Assembly at PWTC on Saturday as an observer.
On May 19 last year, at a “ceramah” (talk) in Alor Setar, Kedah, Dr Mahathir announced his withdrawal from Umno, saying he had lost confidence in the party.
Dr Mahathir, accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, was seen entering the Dewan Merdeka at PWTC about 12.30pm, when Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was delivering his winding-up speech. Both of them were given a rousing welcome by the delegates, who stood up to show their appreciation.
Dr Mahathir was seen nodding, as though in agreement, when Muhyiddin expressed the hope of seeing the former prime minister rejoin Umno.
Muhyiddin said Dr Mahathir’s presence more or less reflected his recognition of the new Umno leadership line-up, to which the delegates responded with claps.
At the end of the assembly, Dr Mahathir went down to the main stage and exchanged greetings with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the Umno Supreme Council members and then he, Abdullah, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Muhyiddin together held up their hands.
Asked why he decided to attend the assembly after having decided against doing so earlier, Dr Mahathir said Muhyiddin’s election as the deputy president gave him the confidence that the anticipated changes in Umno would take place after all.
“I think there is hope for the future,” he said.
Dr Mahathir had stated earlier in his blog, CheDet.com, that he would not attend the assembly as he felt that Umno Youth had openly condoned money politics.