Dr Mahathir: Umno breaking into factions under Zahid’s leadership

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya September 3, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya September 3, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Umno, under its current party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, is a divided party that is being pulled in different directions, according to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former Umno president claimed in an interview with news portal MalaysiaNow that there were at least three separate factions within Umno: one with Zahid at the helm, another under deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, and the last under former party vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who is currently foreign minister.

“Now Umno is divided. There is this faction and that faction. One faction says this, another says that. How will you lead Umno, which faction?” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the interview published today.

“What Umno do you want to be president of?” he added.

Dr Mahathir was the president of Umno for 22 years until 2003. He later quit the party — for the second time — in 2016 due to his differing views with then party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership.

Dr Mahathir subsequently founded Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) which joined the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, which led to their victory over the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition in the 2018 general elections.

However, he was later ousted from PPBM following the PH administration’s collapse in end February and his forced resignation as prime minister.

The 95-year-old is now the chairman of a new party named Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), but recently said he will not contest in the next general election.

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