Malaysia’s Education Minister quits after getting advice from PM Mahathir

Maszlee Malik has resigned as Education Minister, effective from January 3, 2020.

Malaysia’s Education Minister Maszlee Malik has resigned from his job in a press conference held on Thursday (Jan 2).

The 45-year-old former lecturer said at the press conference in Putrajaya that he would be returning the position of education minister to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad starting January 3.

He also said that he had come to the decision after receiving advice from the PM.

“After meeting with Tun (Mahathir) and on his advice – who to me is a statesman, a father figure – with a willing and heavy heart, I, Maszlee Malik, return my position as education minister to the the prime minister effective Jan 3,” Malaysiakini quoted him as saying.

Maszlee, who has held the post since 2018, was reported by The Star as saying that during his tenure, he was subject to public criticism over issues that were played up, despite the successes the ministry had.

“I have been seen to be the cause of many crises, including the Jawi calligraphy issue, Internet at schools and the free breakfast programme.

“However, I believe I have placed a foundation and a clear framework for the ministry to follow,” The Star reported him as saying.

The Jawi controversy – which happened when the ministry said khat calligraphy would be introduced as part of the Bahasa Melayu syllabus in Chinese and Tamil schools – was just one of several instances that earned Maszlee criticism from the public.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member and Simpang Renggam MP also called the appointment to be education minister “the best gift for me as an educationist and an activist of academia”, The Star reported.

“This appointment has been the best gift for me as an educationist and an activist of academia,” he said.

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