Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been appointed as the interim Education Minister, following the resignation of Maszlee Malik from his post as the nation’s Education Minister last week.
Dr Mahathir’s appointment was agreed upon by the Cabinet in a meeting on Wed (8 Jan), according to Malaysia’s Prime Minister’s Office in a statement on Fri (10 Jan).
The prime minister’s appointment is said to be effective 3 Jan, a day after Dr Maszlee stepped down from the post.
Dr Mahathir — who has previously held a portfolio in the Education Ministry from 1974 to 1977 — will assume the Education Minister post until a new minister is appointed for the post, Malaysia’s PMO added.
Bernama on Tue (7 Jan) reported Dr Mahathir as saying — in response to queries — that the appointment of the new Education Minister “will be decided by me because it is my prerogative”.
Speaking at a news conference after chairing a meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR) in Putrajaya on Tue, Dr Mahathir also said that Dr Maszlee’s resignation was not related to the latter’s alleged attempts to reopen the King Salman Centre for International Peace.
“The letter I wrote to him has been made public by some irresponsible people. As you can see, there are many reasons. I’m not saying that he did everything wrong.
“There are some of the things that he did which are right, but because of all these other reasons I felt that it is necessary for him to resign; he agreed and he resigned,” said Dr Mahathir.
Dr Maszlee the same day via Twitter also denied the speculation, as he said that he has never discussed the matter during his tenure, adding that the centre had nothing to do with the Education Ministry.