Zuraida Kamaruddin, Malaysia’s Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, has confirmed her intention to join the Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM). She has decided to discuss her withdrawal from the Cabinet with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Zuraida’s announcement put a stop to months of debate that the Bersatu supreme council member might join the Sarawak Workers’ Party, or PBM (SWP).
Mdm Zuraida was vice president of Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) when she was nominated to the Cabinet as housing and local government minister in 2018, following the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition’s victory in the 14th general election. She was one of a number of MPs who left the PKR and PH in 2020, causing the PH government to fall into a political shift dubbed the Sheraton Move.
Mr. Muhyiddin Yassin, the head of Bersatu, gave her the housing and local government portfolio in the Cabinet. Mdm Zuraida joined Bersatu later in 2020, along with the majority of the PKR MPs who were part of Mr. Mohamed Azmin Ali’s departure. Mdm Zuraida was named plantation industries and commodities minister in the new cabinet under Barisan Nasional’s Ismail Sabri after Mr. Muhyiddin’s government dissolved in August 2021.
Mdm Zuraida, who was formerly with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), also said in a statement released on Thursday that she has begun to ponder about national politics and the path of her political future in the last few months. She has received comments from her close supporters, Ampang voters, government colleagues, civil society organizations, and business and corporate groupings. She has decided to join Parti Bangsa Malaysia after much deliberation.
Her involvement in PBM will push the party to a higher level. She sees a lot of potential in PBM, especially now, when many Malaysians are tired of old politics, which is impeding the country’s progress. Mdm Zuraida further stated in her statement that her support for Mr. Ismail Sabri’s government is consistent with PBM’s position. “God willing, in the near future, I will meet with YAB Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to negotiate my resignation as plantation industries and commodities minister,” she stated.