Questions have been raised over whether former education minister Maszlee Malik is still part of a breakaway group of Bersatu MPs aligned with Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The questions came after the the Simpang Renggam MP’s absence as a signatory to a joint statement by the group, which has since joined Mahathir’s new party Pejuang.
In the statement, Mahathir, his son Mukhriz, Kubang Pasu MP Amiruddin Hamzah and Sri Gading MP Shahruddin Md Salleh called for the contents of the upcoming 2021 budget to be made available to MPs before they lend their support.
“We feel that it is irresponsible to give support without first studying the contents of the budget,” the statement said.
It also backed a call by Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan for parties not to contest the impending by-election in Batu Sapi, Sabah, for fear of triggering another Covid-19 cluster.
Last month, MalaysiaNow revealed that Maszlee had submitted a statutory declaration in support of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s bid to bring down the Perikatan Nasional government.
The move was seen as further complicating his ties with Mahathir, who earlier this year urged Maszlee to resign as education minister, just two months before the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.
A source close to Pejuang told MalaysiaNow that Maszlee’s absence from the bloc’s statement was not surprising.
“After all, he did sign an SD in support of Anwar, so he is not on the same path (with Pejuang MPs),” it added.
Attempts to reach Maszlee for comments have failed.