Maszlee withdraws from Pejuang

‘I will continue my efforts in movement for changes in education through my capacity as an independent MP,’ he says


PARTI Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) committee member Dr Maszlee Malik (picture) has announced his withdrawal from the party.

“I want to fully concentrate my efforts in helping the rakyat that has been afflicted with Covid-19, especially those in Simpang Renggam and Malaysia in general,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The Simpang Renggam MP said the decision was made based on facts that the people have grown tired with the power tussle and are in need of politicians who focus on supporting and solving the people’s adversities.

“I will continue my efforts in movement for changes in education through my capacity as an independent MP and through the act of activism and humanity works via the network of non-governmental organisations and fellow activists.

“I believe, efforts for changes do not require power and position solely, but with passion and opportunity,” Maszlee said.

The announcement was made after speculations arose following the absence of his name in a recent statement by Pejuang.

On Sunday, Pejuang said its members unanimously agreed that the content of Budget 2021 should be examined carefully before a decision to provide support is made.

“We feel that approving the budget without first examining the content is irresponsible.

“We want to ensure this budget can provide wellbeing to the people and revive the country’s economy,” the party said in a statement.

Pejuang also said it will not contest the Batu Sapi by-election in Sabah.

In August, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad unveiled his latest political party, Pejuang, which aims to eliminate corruption and kleptocracy.

He announced a new breakaway political party following the High Court’s decision to strike out a suit by him and others over the nullification of their Bersatu memberships.

Pejuang initially had the support of five MPs and one senator, but its recent statement only included the names of the party’s chairman Dr Mahathir, president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Kubang Pasu MP Datuk Wira Amiruddin Hamzah and Sri Gading MP Datuk Shahruddin Md Salleh.

In January, Maszlee resigned as the education minister after consultations in a Cabinet meeting.

He did not offer the reason behind his abrupt resignation, but reiterated his commitment and loyalty to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and its former chairman Dr Mahathir.

Maszlee became a politician after joining Bersatu on March 12, 2018, and was elected as the MP for Simpang Renggam on May 9 of the same year.

Prior to that, the 46-year-old was an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the International Islamic University Malaysia.

He also served as an advisor to several civil society groups such as IKRAM, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs’ Autism Centre and Downsyndrome Educational Centre, ORKIDS.