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The Times Of India provides better coverage on Mahathir quitting.

As every knows this action of Mahathir is a personal vendetta against Badawi to make him step down and put Najib at the helm.

Anil Netto at 2.28 PM says this:

2.28pm – Tengku Razaleigh is expected to address a gathering in Kedah this afternoon after Mahathir announced his shock decision to quit Umno just after noon today. Stay tuned for updates.

As Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says it is good Mahathir goes but he is against Mahathir telling others to follow.

At four score plus years, Mahathir still feels he can change the political direction of the country. But on the other hand if the reasons to get rid of Badawi are just his annoyance that Badawi cancelled his mega projects, I think the people won’t back him. As one blogger commented at his age getting angry is definitely not good for his health and well being. He is not enjoying his well earned rest, which all retirees look forward to.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s influential former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad quit the ruling party on Monday after a long feud with his successor, deepening the cracks that appeared after the party’s recent massive electoral losses.
Mahathir’s son Mokhzani Mahathir said his father was leaving the United Malays National Organization party, or UMNO, with “immediate effect.”
He said his father’s decision was a sign of no confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is fighting for political survival with many party members calling for his resignation to take responsibility for the losses in the March 8 general elections.
“He has asked other members of the party to follow suit,” Mokhzani, a businessman, said. He said the former leader made the announcement in a speech in his home state of Kedah.
The decision raises the possibility of large-scale desertions by loyalists, which could split the party – one that has been in power since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957 – and eventually bring down the government.
The 82-year-old Mahathir has been waging a war of words against Abdullah for more than two years, but he had given no indication that he would quit the party. Instead, he had been urging party members to rebel against the prime minister.
Mokhzani declined to comment on how the development could play out or on his father’s future plans. He said Mahathir would only come back to the party if its leadership changes.
A senior UMNO leader dismissed suggestions that the party would break up, saying Mahathir’s departure “is not that important.” He indicated that the party was glad to be rid of Mahathir’s disruptive influence.
“I welcome his decision. It is high time for him” to leave, said Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a Cabinet minister and a member of UMNO’s supreme council.
“He is old enough to decide. He has every right to do it but he shouldn’t urge members to follow him. It’s up to the members.”
Mahathir appointed Abdullah to succeed him in 2003, when Mahathir retired after 22 years as prime minister. But he remained active in politics, wielding significant influence among the party’s grass-roots workers.
By late 2004 Mahathir began accusing Abdullah of nepotism, corruption and inefficiency. Party insiders say Mahathir was angry because many big infrastructure projects he had initiated were cancelled by Abdullah.
Some of the allegations of economic mismanagement resonated with Malaysians who were being buffeted by increasing inflation, however. Also, Abdullah’s promise to fight corruption had shown few results.
The disenchantment with the government resulted in massive loss of popularity for the ruling National Front coalition, which is dominated by UMNO. It saw its traditional two-thirds majority in Parliament massively reduced to a simple majority in the March elections.
An opposition alliance of three parties led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made spectacular gains in the elections, winning 82 seats in the country’s 222-member parliament, up from 19 seats the three parties controlled previously. The coalition also won control of five of Malaysia’s 13 states.

Malaysia’s former PM Mahathir quits ruling party-Rest of World-World-The Times of India


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