CYBERJAYA: Simpang Renggam MP Dr Maszlee Malik (pic) has launched a new movement called “Untuk Malaysia”, which he says is not a political party.
The independent lawmaker and former education minister described Untuk Malaysia as a movement that transcended ideology, politics, race and class, with an aim to resolve issues related to education.
“Untuk Malaysia is a movement that goes across ideologies and focuses on education-related issues.
"It is not a political party,” said Maszlee, at a press conference here on Wednesday (Nov 11).
Maszlee is one of the MPs who was aligned with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and rebelled against Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia when it broke away from the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Subsequently, he chose to withdraw from Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air and go his own way.
Maszlee said Untuk Malaysia will act as a platform to bridge “those who need help and those who want to offer help”.
“In my experience with the Education Ministry, there are just too many issues that need resolving.
“Some are related to infrastructure. For example, classrooms, teacher’s rooms, or toilets at schools that need to be repaired. Or teachers that need teaching aids and other necessities.
“There are many people out there who want to offer help but they either lack the knowledge to do so, or are restricted by bureaucracy. In the end, the assistance does not truly end up in the hands of those who really need them. So, this is where Untuk Malaysia steps in,” said Maszlee.
Maszlee also admitted that he has unfinished business after he stepped down as Education Minister on Jan 3, during the Pakatan Harapan reign.
“The day that I stepped down as minister, I have announced that I will continue to devote my service towards education and the rakyat, regardless of what position I’m in.
“Position and power are not the only platforms for us to serve. What is more important is the will, desire and effort that knows no end,” said Maszlee.
Maszlee said he will remain an independent MP, who is Pakatan-friendly.
“In Parliament, I will be in the opposition bloc with Pakatan. In Simpang Renggam, we are also working closely with Pakatan,” he said.
When asked if he has any interest in joining any other political party, Maszlee said his priority is to focus on education-related issues.
“I have a formidable, convincing and strong number of people who want to contribute to education.
“For me, I want to concentrate on education because it is in dire straits. If our education does get the attention and help it needs, I am afraid of the effects towards the country’s development.
“This will be where I will prioritise my efforts,” he said.
At the press conference, Maszlee also announced the launch of the untukmalaysia.my website, which is a platform for people to seek assistance, for initiating crowdfunding efforts or to debate education issues, among others.