Former education minister Maszlee Malik has pulled out from Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Pejuang bloc, following speculation over his absence as a signatory to a recent statement issued by the group.
In a statement today, the Simpang Renggam MP announced his withdrawal as a member of Pejuang’s pro tem committee.
He said he would instead focus on assisting those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and on education reforms in his capacity as an independent MP.
“I believe efforts for change do not need power and positions only, but passion and opportunity,” he said.
Questions were earlier raised over Maszlee’s absence as a signatory to a joint statement issued by a breakaway group of Bersatu MPs aligned with Mahathir calling for the contents of next year’s budget to be made available for MPs before they lend their support.
The statement, issued by Mahathir, his son Mukhriz, Kubang Pasu MP Amiruddin Hamzah and Sri Gading MP Shahruddin Md Salleh, 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.
Maszlee’s move came in the wake of a revelation by MalaysiaNow last month that the former education minister 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.
In his statement today, Maszlee said his decision to leave the bloc was based on facts obtained through research and observations of the people’s aspirations.
“I am confident that the people have grown nauseous with the game of power and politics by the elite politikus,” he said.
“The people are in need of politicians who focus on supporting (them) and truly solving the adversities they currently face.”