KOTA BARU, 30 March 2009: Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today welcomed the announcement by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that he would rejoin Umno shortly.
He said the statesman’s readiness to rejoin Umno showed that he loved the party.
“Umno’s doors are always open to Tun (Dr Mahathir) and he can be an advisor to the new leadership of the country,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Dr Ahmad Zahid was here to receive the Ahli Yang Kehormat Yang Pertama (Seri Paduka) of the Jiwa Mahkota Kelantan Yang Amat Mulia (SJMK) award which carries the title “Datuk” in conjunction with the 59th birthday of the Sultan of Kelantan, Tuanku Ismail Petra Sultan Yahya Petra, at the Istana Balai Besar.
Umno supreme council member Datuk Mustapa Mohamed described Mahathir’s intention to rejoin Umno as a good sign for the unity of the Malay Malaysians as well as Islam in the country.
Mustapa, who is Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, said he hoped that Mahathir would rejoin Umno soon to help strengthen not only the party but also the government.
Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali said Mahathir’s return to Umno would enable Umno and the government regain the confidence of the people.
Meanwhile, PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa said the announcement of Mahathir’s intended return to Umno would have little impact on the three by-elections on 7 April. — Bernama