From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Note: The form male- is chiefly used in cases where the e, either alone or with other letters, is pronounced as a separate syllable, as in malediction, malefactor, maleficent, etc. Where this is not the case, as in malfeasance or male-feasance, malformation or male-formation, etc., as also where the word to which it is prefixed commences with a vowel, as in maladministration, etc., the form mal is to be preferred, and is the one commonly employed.
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