Mustapa Mohamed, the only Mr Cool of Umno and ex-Minister of Trade and Industry who was the architect behind Malaysia’s push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has left the Umno.
His departure means the party is weakened at the top leadership level and follows the exit of thousands of party grassroots and members.
Right after he slammed the door on the biggest political formation in the country – the Umno now controls 51 seats in Parliament – another ex-Minister Anifah Aman has also left the Barisan Nasional.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs left the party 24 hours after Mustapa. Anifah was tipped to be one of the Ministers who was plotting to quit from his post last year on the back of the 1MDB scandal. Anifah’s leaving the party is a blow to the Umno.
Former youth chief and Minister of Sports in the Cabinet of Najib Razak said Mustapa leaving the party is a big loss for the Malay political organisation.
“This is all your fault, Mr President,” he reportedly said, addressing his concerns to the current Umno president Zahid Hamidi.
He wrote about Mustapa’s resignation: Now we have lost a brilliant light in our party. A brilliant and good man.”
— malaysiakini.com (@malaysiakini) 19 septembre 2018
PM Tun Dr Mahathir also commented on Mustapa’s leaving the Umno.
The PM said Mustapa ‘s departure from Umno shows that the latter has realised that the party is destroyed.
“Perhaps he has realised although it’s a bit late. Umno is destroyed and now you are leaving the party,” he said when asked by reporters after attending the Malaysian Franchise Awards 2018 on Tuesday night.
Asked if Pakatan wants to open its doors to Mustapa, Dr Mahathir said he has not heard of such a move, adding that he has to prove he is a different man now from before the Pakatan would consider him as a member.