PETALING JAYA: After more than 40 years in Umno, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic) has quit the party.
In a statement, Mustapa said he decided to leave effective yesterday as Umno’s current direction is no longer in line with his political principles.
Mustapa, 67, who is Jeli MP, said there were hardly any convincing effort to rejuvenate the party and felt that, based on latest developments, it was getting difficult to salvage the diminishing trust deficit and Umno’s image.
“Based on this, after much reflection and deep thought, I have decided to resign as an Umno member after more than 40 years of service to the party,” he said in the statement.
It is understood that Mustapa has left the country for a short break.
The former International Trade and Industry Minister said that after GE14, he has made several observations on Malaysia’s political landscape as well as Umno, Barisan Nasional and the country’s direction.
“There is no sign that the majority of the multiracial and multireligious society will once again trust the party’s struggles,” he said.
Mustapa said in order for Umno to be relevant in a dynamic national political scenario of today, the party, as the backbone of Barisan, cannot depend on the sole support of the Malays and bumiputra.
“My political principle is that Umno should be inclusive, moderate and a party that takes the middle path,” he said.
He thanked his friends and supporters from his constituency and around the country who have helped him over the years.
“I will continue to provide ideas to further develop Malaysia and I wish for a more mature and inclusive political culture in Malaysia,” he said.
In an immediate reaction, former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin expressed his frustration at the decision.
He lamented that Umno has now lost a “leading light” in the party.
“I have been vocal in cautioning my party against this alliance with PAS and I bore the brunt of attacks from within,” he tweeted.
Khairy was referring to the move by Umno leaders to cooperate with PAS after Barisan’s disastrous performance in GE14.
“A brilliant and good man. This is on you, Mr President (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi),” the Rembau MP tweeted.