Mat Taib rejoins Umno (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has announced that former Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib has rejoined Umno.

The latest development in the Barisan Nasional main party was announced personally by the prime minister and UMNO president during a special press conference at the 39th floor of Menara Dato Onn at the Umno headquarters, Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur at 4.45pm today.

Muhd Taib or Mat Taib as he is fondly called, rejoins the party that he had served since 1964 before leaving in 2013.

He joined PAS in 2013, before leaving to join PKR in 2015.

Flanked by the party's top leaders, Mat Taib said he rejoined the party that he had previously served for 49 years since 1964, as he realised the futility of the Opposition's cause and expressed concern over the split of the Malays.

"I made the decision to return to Umno after seeing things on the other side for almost five years where their struggle is nothing but a waste," he said.

In welcoming the party's former vice president back into the fold, Najib said that this is a matter of championing the rights of the bumiputeras and not about positions.

“Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib is aware that the struggles of the opposition parties particularly the PKR was in vain,” said Najib who explained that Muhammad also pledged to work together to ensure Umno’s success,” he said.

"This is not about positions, this about the sincerity of championing the rights of the bumiputeras," he said.

He added that Muhammad decided to return on his own accord and was not offered any incentives.

The prime minister said he was confident Muhammad’s return would further strengthen Umno.

Najib said the former Selangor Mentri Besar had pledged to join in the struggle to ensure victory for Umno and the Barisan Nasional in the coming general election.

Asked whether Muhammad would be given any party post especially in Selangor, Najib said this would be discussed later.

On the possibility of other opposition leaders interested in joining Umno, Najib said “that we will have to wait first”.

He said the opposition, particularly Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), is as though it had been hit by a storm with several key leaders of the party announcing their withdrawal from the party.

Yesterday, PPBM vice-president Datuk Hamidah Osman and Anina Saadudin who was also among the founders of PPBM announced their withdrawal from the party.