(Bernama) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's decision to quit Umno did not come as a surprise. He also said it would not divert Umno's focus from helping to drive national development and ensuring the wellbeing of the people.
"In Umno, we will proceed with our agenda because we still have much work to do. I hope we will focus on issues that we have to champion so that Umno will be much stronger in facing numerous challenges, particularly in our preparation for the next general election," he said.
Najib, who is also Umno president, was responding to reporters' questions on Dr Mahathir's resignation in Jeddah today.
Dr Mahathir announced on February 29 that he was quitting Umno, reportedly because he had become disillusioned with the party.
Dr Mahathir, the former prime minister and former Umno president, left the party for the first time on May 19, 2008, after reportedly losing confidence in the leadership of the then prime minister and party president, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He rejoined Umno on April 4, 2009, when Najib assumed the leadership of the party and country.
Asked whether Dr Mahathir's quitting Umno would have implications on the party, Najib said: "Most probably not, because the impact is only felt when it is for the first time. When it is for the second time, many will feel that it will not have any impact that can jeopardise Umno's position."