PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister’s Office today said the Cabinet has agreed to appoint Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the acting education minister pending a replacement for Maszlee Malik, who resigned last week.
It said the decision was reached during the Cabinet meeting on Jan 8. Then appointment is effective on Jan 3.
Mahathir had initially named himself for the education portfolio soon after Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the 2018 general election.
He was forced to give up the post a day later, following criticism from some PH leaders who cited the coalition’s promise that the prime minister would not hold any other ministerial posts.
He later named Maszlee for the post.
On Jan 2, Maszlee announced his resignation, saying he was asked to do so by Mahathir. His departure came on the back of a series of controversies, including on the move to introduce Jawi lessons in vernacular schools.
This will be the second time Mahathir is helming the education portfolio.
He had held the post for four years, from 1974 to 1978, under the administration of the third prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein.