Malaysian deputy minister resigns, says it is mistake to back PM Muhyiddin's government

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - Datuk Shahruddin Md Salleh (pic) has quit his position as deputy works minister, but there is still confusion whether he remains with the Perikatan Nasional government.

In a letter of resignation which was tagged to his Facebook, Shahruddin said that he has formed a political "ijtihad" (independent reasoning), that it was not a right move to join the Perikatan government under Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

"I should have placed priority by considering my voters in the Sri Gading parliamentary constituency who chose Pakatan Harapan in the 14th general election.

"As my first step in correcting this mistake, I therefore resign, as I was posted to this position (Deputy Works Minister) by the Prime Minister of Perikatan," said Shahruddin.

Another letter, with Shahruddin's signature and addressed to Muhyiddin, making the rounds on social media, however, states that he resigned as deputy works minister, but remains as a Perikatan backbencher MP.

Sources have said that Shahruddin was expected to leave the Perikatan government and throw his support behind Dr Mahathir.

Sources said that Shahruddin will be announcing his exit from Muhyiddin's camp in a press conference via Facebook Live at 4pm on Thursday (June 4).

This follows speculation that Shahruddin, a former political secretary of Muhyiddin, defecting to Dr Mahathir's camp last week.

On June 2, Shahruddin said he wanted to see the party remain strong and his love for Bersatu was above any leaders, including party president Muhyiddin or its former chairman Dr Mahathir, who are currently in a political tussle.

"If I am required to quit my position as the Deputy Works Minister, I will quit, to strengthen Bersatu, so I will be able to focus on the party," he said in a statement.

"If I have to leave my friends in Perikatan Nasional and return to Pakatan Harapan with an assurance that Bersatu will remain strong and survive, then I am prepared to do so," added Shahruddin.

Earlier, on May 30, Shahruddin had met with Dr Mahathir and was supposed to meet the press on his resignation, but he failed to show up at the Bersatu headquarters.