Mahathir: Interim Education Minister only temporary

Mahathir: Interim Education Minister only temporary

LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix) has stressed that he will cease being the interim education minister once a suitable person is found to take over as the minister.

The prime minister said he was acting in that capacity on a temporary basis.

“Once someone is picked to take over (education minister’s post), I will relinquish it; it’s only temporary,” he told reporters after presenting prizes at the closing ceremony of the Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2020 here last night.

Asked whether the new minister would be a Member of Parliament from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Dr Mahathir said that is the usual practice.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement yesterday that the Cabinet on Wednesday (Jan 8) decided that Dr Mahathir would act in that capacity effective Jan 3, until the next education minister is appointed.

Dr Maszlee Malik resigned as Education Minister on Jan 3 after holding the post for 20 months.

Asked if the appointment of the new education minister would indicate that a cabinet reshuffle would be done soon, he said: “I do not know about a cabinet reshuffle but for sure there will be a new education minister.”

Asked on the possibility of other ministers wanting to resigning, Dr Mahathir said he is willing to accept if anyone wants to resign.

Dr Mahathir also said the government was studying the possibility of splitting the ministry into Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry as was done before. — Bernama