PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Umno stalwart Mustapa Mohamed has quit the party after more than four decades of being a member.
In a statement released on Tuesday evening (Sept 18), Datuk Seri Mustapa, who is an Umno Supreme Council member and MP for Jeli in Kelantan, said the decision was made as he felt that the party's current direction is no longer in line with the political principles he upheld. He added that there were no longer any convincing efforts to start rejuvenating the party.
"Based on this, after much reflection and deep thought, I have decided to resign as Umno member after more than 40 years of providing service to the party," Mr Mustapa, the former international trade and industry minister, said.
Mr Mustapa said after the country's 14th general election in May, he had made several observations on Malaysia's political landscape, Umno, Barisan Nasional (BN) and the country's direction.
"Based on the latest developments, I feel that it was getting difficult to salvage the diminishing trust deficit and Umno's image," he said.
"There is no sign that the majority of the multiracial and multi-religious society will once again trust the party's struggles," he added.
Mr Mustapa said to be relevant in a dynamic national political scenario today, Umno as the backbone of the BN, cannot depend on the sole support of the Malays and bumiputeras.
"My political principle is that Umno should be an inclusive, moderate and a party that takes the middle path. Umno must continue to fight for the rights of bumiputeras and Islam, but should never sideline the importance of other races and religions," he said.
"I believe this is the best way in a multiracial country like Malaysia," he added.