KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's deputy works minister, who is from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), resigned on Thursday (Jun 4) from the three-month-old Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
In a statement circulated online, Mr Shahruddin Md Salleh was said to have admitted to making a wrong move in joining PN, and that he should have prioritised the voters of Sri Gading parliamentary seat who had chosen Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the 14th general election.
“As a preliminary step to rectify this mistake, I hereby resign because I was appointed to the position by the prime minister from the PN government,” the statement read.
He later confirmed his resignation to national news agency Bernama via WhatsApp.
Mr Shahruddin had on Tuesday said that he was prepared to relinquish his position in the name of strengthening the party.
He said that his love for Bersatu was above his allegiance to any leader, including Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who is also the party’s president, as well as Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who founded the party.
READ: Malaysian deputy works minister says he is prepared to resign, mulls return to Pakatan Harapan
However, he noted that the majority of Bersatu members had joined the party because of Dr Mahathir, adding that without the veteran politician, “Bersatu will die".
An internal conflict within Bersatu has been brewing since Mr Muhyiddin led the party out of PH in February and formed the PN government with former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional.
Dr Mahathir, who disagreed with the move, was informed last week that his party membership had been terminated when he did not sit with the PN government during the parliament sitting on May 18.
Four other party leaders also faced the same fate, while two other party leaders aligned to Dr Mahathir were removed from their party posts on Thursday.
Following Mr Shahruddin's resignation on Thursday, two photos showing him meeting Dr Mahathir were posted on the latter’s Facebook page with the caption of “Welcome back.”