PETALING JAYA: May 20, 2008 By ZANI SALLEH
The resignation of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed indicates a worsening of the crisis in Umno and Barisan Nasional, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The internal problem of the party was deteriorating beyond any hope of recovery, and the welfare of Malaysians was being neglected, he said in a statement.
He said that Malaysians must avoid being trapped by personal agendas to replace leaders.
PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the whole issue was just about Umno's internal politics and it showed that Umno had no direction.
“We, however, welcome it if it makes our party stronger and they (Umno members) are also welcome to join us,” she said.
In Ipoh, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said Dr Mahathir was being unfair to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah in leaving Umno so suddenly.
“This is just not fair to Pak Lah,” he told reporters during a visit to the Medan Kidd bus station on Tuesday.
“After all, the nation is still reeling from the aftermath of the (March 8) general election. We need to give Pak Lah some time to develop himself and to stabilise the country.”
Nizar added that the former Prime Minister should have allowed more time to pass to allow for the country to be stable before making his shocking announcement.
He added that Dr Mahathir could have left the party, if he really felt he needed to, after the dust from the elections had settled. His resignation then would not be so open to misinterpretation.
“If there was an urgent reason for him to leave, he could have done so at a better time. Leaving at this point, he is not being people-friendly and is only further stressing the public,” Nizar said.
Earlier, during the Muzakarah Cendekiawan Islam 2008 conference, Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria echoed Nizar’s views on Dr Mahathir’s announcement.
“This should not have happened. He has led the nation for more than two decades and his departure will cause some cracks in society, especially among the Malays,” he said.
He added that differences in political beliefs should not be an excuse to cause instability and division among the people.