JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Umno party will move forward and is not affected by the resignation of former party president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that it was Dr Mahathir's decision to quit but the party will focus all its efforts on strengthening unity and preparing for the general election.
"Usually if you want to resign, the biggest impact will be the first time.
"Many believe that it will not have a big impact or affect Umno's position," Mr Najib told local media after speaking at the Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF) 2016 on Tuesday night (March 1).
The Malaysian leader was asked to comment on Dr Mahathir's decision to resign from the party on Monday (Feb 29).
Mr Najib said that his mission now was to unite party members based on the mandate given to him.
"We must understand that I was elected via the most democratic and open process in Umno's history from more than 160,000 delegates.
"I was not appointed based on the old constitution that requires at least 56 nominations from divisions to be nominated for the post," he said.
Mr Najib stressed that he is determined to carry on the mandate given by party members.
"I believe Tun Mahathir is not someone who will easily abandon something that he wants to do.
"However, it is his decision to resign. We will remain committed to our job and will not be distracted by anyone including him.
"Most importantly, we will continue to develop the country especially in facing the global economy and uncertainties," he added.