PETALING JAYA: Umno leaders have spoken up on the departure of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad from the party, with supreme council member Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan (pic) saying there would be "tears no more" this time from party members.
"Many Umno members cried when Tun abruptly resigned as prime minister in 2002. But this time around, tears no more!
"As a party with more than three million members and an entrenched organisation, Umno will survive any attempt to destabilise it, including resignations," said the Kota Belud MP in a series of tweets on his official account @mpkotabelud on Monday evening.
He added that Umno would remain although leaders would come and go.
Former deputy education minister Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said in a press release on Monday evening that Dr Mahathir's departure from Umno was not surprising.
"He has been stabbing Umno in the back by harassing the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, and this is the same as sabotaging Umno to bring about its defeat in the 14th general election," said Dr Mohd Puad.
He said Dr Mahathir's action of leaving the party was correct because he felt it was better for the former prime minister to fight and attack Najib from outside the party.
"When Mahathir was the Umno president, two former presidents - Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn - left the party. So, Tun Mahathir's action is not a new trend, is not surprising and I am convinced Umno can handle him," added Dr Mohd Puad.
He added that he was convinced not many people would follow in Dr Mahathir's footsteps.
"I also believe that Umno will mature and unite following Mahathir's actions," said Mohd Puad.
Earlier, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said Dr Mahathir made the right move in resigning from Umno.
In a blog post on Monday evening, he said Dr Mahathir's actions were hurting Umno, adding that it seemed illogical for the former prime minister to go against the party while remaining within Umno.
"If Dr Mahathir wants to continue to attack Umno then he should do so from outside Umno. That would be the noble and ethical thing to do. This is probably for the best, because when one’s relationship with the party or the party leader is no longer tenable, then it is pointless for one to remain in the party," he said.