Mahathir and Abdullah To Attend Umno General Assembly

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 (Bernama) -- Former Umno presidents Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi have confirmed their attendance to the Umno General Assembly's opening ceremony on Thursday.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor told Bernama that the two statesmen had been invited as guests of honour.

He said Abdullah would also be a delegate to the assembly owing to his position as the Kepala Batas Umno division chief.

This will be Abdullah's first Umno general assembly as a guest of honour after relinquishing his posts as party president last March and as prime minister in April.

For Dr Mahathir, this will be his first attendance to the general assembly after rejoining the party in April 4 this year.

Dr Mahathir left Umno on May 19 last year, saying he had lost confidence in the leadership of the party he once led for 22 years.

However, in the Umno General Assembly in March this year, he attended the closing ceremony as a guest.

He rejoined the party shortly after and retained his Umno membership number 0000001 while his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali retained the number 0000002.

Dr Mahathir was once expelled from the party -- on Sept 26, 1969 -- during Tunku Abdul Rahman's tenure for criticising the leadership of the country's first prime minister but was accepted back on March 7, 1972 when Tun Abdul Razak Hussein became the prime minister.

When met at a Hari Raya get-together organised by Police Special Action Force, Dr Mahathir said he would attend the opening ceremony.

He also hoped that Umno would restore confidence among the people and return to its true struggle as spelled out in party constitution.

Asked on Barisan Nasional candidate Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad's victory in the Bagan Pinang by-election, Dr Mahathir said it should be seen in the larger context of preparing for the 13th general election.

"We should not be overzealous. Don't let this victory lull us into complacency," he said.

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