Maszlee resignation puts pressure on others to follow suit

Maszlee Malik visiting a primary school just hours before he announced his resignation yesterday.

PETALING JAYA: The resignation of Education Minister Maszlee Malik has prompted two political analysts to call on other underperforming ministers to relinquish their posts.

Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya noted that several other ministers were drawing as much flak from the public as Maszlee was.

They did not name them but they told FMT they believed their resignations would reduce the government’s unpopularity.

Azmi said there were ministers from every component party of Pakatan Harapan who were obstructing Dr Mahathir Mohamad from leading the country effectively and the public knew this.

He said Maszlee’s resignation should be a signal to them.

It was possible that Maszlee was in fact giving them such a signal, he added.

Azman said Maszlee could be seen as a scapegoat if he was the only one to resign.

He said educational issues were not the only ones stirring controversy, citing debates in the media on issues concerning the economy, rural development, environmental pollution and national unity.

He said the ministers responsible in those areas should resign, get sacked or be assigned to other portfolios.

Azman also said PH had been too open in handling controversial issues, giving the public the impression that Putrajaya had no clear direction and thereby risking instability.

He referred to Maszlee’s resignation as a development that the public might regard as a victory to the opposition and said PH now had to work towards convincing people that it runs a stable government.

He also said it was quite clear to him that a large section of the public wanted a hastening of the transfer of power from Mahathir to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

“The transition of power will give renewed confidence to the Pakatan Harapan Cabinet and PH a chance to do some damage control,” he added.

Maszlee announced his resignation yesterday, ending a 20-month tenure marred by controversies.

He told a press conference he made the decision in consultation with the prime minister.