KUALA LUMPUR - Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) Armada chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has described Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed's decision to quit the party today as the beginning of the end of Umno.
Syed Saddiq said Mustapa, or better known as Tok Pa, had always been among Umno leaders whom he admired and respected.
"I still admire and respect him, not only because he is a leader of vast experience, but also because of his deeds and contributions to the country which cannot be denied.
"When I heard that he quit Umno, I'm shocked and I think it is the end of Umno... to be honest, to lose someone like him is a big loss to Umno," he added.
The three other debaters were Asia's Best Debater 2018 Ahmad Syarifuddin Ahmad Fakhir, student of Kolej Yayasan United Engineers Malaysia (UEM) Kishen Sivabalan, and a Fourth former of Sekolah Seri Puteri Cyberjaya Atiyah Khairuddin.
In a statement issued earlier Tuesday, Mustapa said his decision to quit Umno after more than four decades of being its member was made as the party's approach was no longer in line with the political principles he had been championing.
When asked whether Pribumi would welcome Mustapa to join the party, Syed Saddiq, who is also Youth and Sports Minister, said: "I hope Tok Pa will join us for the future of Malaysians because he is a very good leader, but if he is not, I will still respect him."
Meanwhile, commenting on the debate, he said it was a success as current issues were publicly discussed and debated by young people.
"I'm of the opinion that today's successful event will be followed by more formal discussions, as well as debates on social media, and also on mainstream media, including radio and television," he added.