Former Education Minister Maszlee Malick quit the party and is now sitting in Parliament as in Independent MP.
During the heated political tractions between Anwar Ibrahim the opposition leader and PM Muhyiddin Yassin, the name of Maszlee came out in support of Anwar.
The opposition and Pejuang member wrote a letter to the King of Malaysia in which he said he supports Anwar as the next PM.
Apparently, Mahathir took this as an affront since he directed the MPs from his newly formed Pejuang (5 MPs including Mahathir) not to support anyone as PM.
Which meant Maszlee was not supposed to give his support to Anwar. But when Maszlee’s letter to the Agong was leaked on social media, Mahathir turned sour.
The letter sent by Umno leader Ahmid Zahid Hamidi was also leaked after Anwar refused to give the names of Umno and other non Pakatan MPs supporting him.
Both letters added to the woes of Anwar in his bid to become PM. The leaks basically sunk Anwar’s gambit and gave Muhyiddin an upper hand in his negotiations with the Umno.
But Maszlee had his own dilemma to deal with Mahathir. This is the second time in their political collaboration that Mahathir is cheesed off with the MP.
KHAT AND ISLAMIC ART
The first incident was during the heated debates in Malaysia on the introduction of the Khat or Islamic calligraphy in vernacular schools.
This caused a public outcry among non-Malays and tarnished the image of the PH among these voters.
However, the government persisted in pushing for these ‘reforms’ which widened the dispute between non-Malay citizens and the Mahathir’s regime.
Reports say Maszlee played a big role in the Khat scandal but his relationship with Mahathir soured. The latter urged Maszlee, in a missive published on local news portal, to quit as minister of education.
However, Maszlee remained a Bersatu member until the group of MPs following Mahathir after the PH breakup were fired from the party.
Mahathir lost one MP who followed him after the breakup with Bersatu. Ex-Sports Minister Syed Saddiq did not join Mahathir to form the Pejuang party.
Instead, he formed the MUDA party, a party only for youths. This added to Mahathir’s woes as he saw his number of MPs dwindling further from the 13 he won in 2018 with Bersatu.
After the breakup with Muhyiddin, Mahathir pulled 6 MPs from the party.
But the second party created by Mahathir in 4 years does not seem to have the same impact the Bersatu had.
Since 2019, Mahathir saw his iron fist on local politics dwindling after the incessant infighting in the PH.
Mahathir strayed from the PH and gave in to the overtures from the Umno-PAS that wanted him to break the PH government and work with them instead.
But when the time came for Mahathir to get the support from both the Umno and the PAS and from the Bersatu MPs as well as MPs from Keadilan, they made the swing to support Muhyiddin.
This was the start of Mahathir’s downfall as the most powerful political figure in Malaysia.