Dr Mahathir Is Acting Education Minister

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The cabinet, during its weekly meeting on Wednesday, agreed that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will serve as the acting education minister.

Lim Huey Teng/Reuters

Dr Mahathir will be assuming the duties of the education minister until a permanent person is appointed, said the Prime Minister’s Office today.

“Following the vacant ministerial position, the cabinet on January 8 decided that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will assume the responsibilities temporarily.

“This decision is effective January 3 and Dr Mahathir will assume the position until a new education minister in appointed,” said the statement today.

Previously, Dr Mahathir was education minister from 1974 to 1977.

On Dec 27, Mahathir wrote to Bersatu lawmaker Maszlee Malek to advise him to relinquish his position.

On Jan 2, Maszlee stepped down as education minister.

The exact reasons for Dr Mahathir’s decision to remove Maszlee are subject of much speculation.

The prime minister himself has refused to explain why he sought Maszlee’s removal, while stressing that not everything that Maszlee did was wrong.