Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced this on Monday at 12.35pm, citing a lack of confidence in the current leadership.
"I am quitting Umno today," he told about 1,000 people, mostly Kedah Umno members, at a talk here on Monday.
"I will write a letter to Umno headquarters to inform that I have quit the party," he said.Utusan Malaysia
ALOR STAR 19 Mei _ Bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad hari ini mengumumkan keluar daripada UMNO.
Menurutnya, surat rasmi mengenainya akan dihantar kepada Setiausaha Agung UMNO secepat mungkin.
Katanya, beliau akan berada di luar UMNO selagi Presiden UMNO, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi memimpin parti itu.Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas menyampaikan ucapan bertajuk `Kedudukan Orang Melayu Pasca Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-12’ di sini hari ini.
Well, what the other UMNO Lords said?
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said it was a bad time for Dr Mahathir to quit Umno as the party was going through a difficult period.
He said the resignation would not help in efforts to rebuild Umno.
"He is doing more damage than good; whatever it is, the party is still looking for a new direction and we need everyone to remain united and not split," he said
Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said he was surprised at the decision, but added that it was Dr Mahathir's right to do so.
"Every member has the right to join or leave the party," he said.
Asked if Umno would convene an emergency meeting, the former Umno vice-president and Selangor Mentri Besar said that "we will wait and see."
Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik described the move as an "interesting but tragic development" for Umno.
Will he re-join UMNO? What is the conditions?Only if Datul Seri Abdullah is replaced!
Will anybody in UMNO join him?
According to Datuk Shahrir, many MP might join him. There are possibilities that there might be an early election.
Will he support PAS or PKR?
PKR? Over his dead body. PAS? He might. PAS given him a platform in the early 60's when he was axed from UMNO.
Will history be repeated?
Well, all of UMNO past president died outside of UMNO.
This is very interesting.