Maszlee ‘Least Popular Minister’

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Dr Maszlee Malik is the most unpopular member of the cabinet, an online poll by The Malaysian Insight shows.

In an eight-hour survey asking readers to pick which minister should get the boot, the education minister received 12,034 votes, followed closely by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy with 11,634 votes.

The online poll follows an announcement by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday that he will consider reshuffling the cabinet following Pakatan Harapan’s crushing defeat at last week’s Tg Piai by-election.

Dr Mahathir said this after chairing a supreme council meeting of his Bersatu party where it was understood that the members demanded a cabinet reshuffle.

The reshuffle will only happen after he has studied and observed the achievements of the existing ministers, Dr Mahathir said.

Maszlee has made several unpopular decisions in his short stint, beginning with his mandatory black shoes ruling for pupils.

This, however, paled in comparison to his proposal to introduce Jawi in vernacular schools, which caused an uproar, including threats from Indian and Chinese groups to boycott school.

He also angered the Chinese and the Malays with his handling of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) issue.

Waytha, meanwhile, has earned disapproval for not doing much as the de facto unity minister to curb the racial and religious sentiments running high in the country.

Also deeply unpopular was Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who with 11,626 votes was only eight votes behind Waytha.

Syed Saddiq is perceived to be trying too hard to emulate his popular predecessor, Khairy Jamaluddin.

The other three cabinet members who collected more than 10,000 votes were minister in charge of Islamic affairs Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (10,488), Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali (10,118) and Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran (10,158).

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is also unpopular with 9,123 votes. His deputy, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, received 8,383 votes.

She is less unpopular as the women, family and community development minister, with 6,635 votes.

Lim Guan Eng, Mohamad Sabu, Khalid Samad, Zuraida Kamaruddin and Teresa Kok each garnered more than 9,000 votes.

Ministers who scored below 9,000 votes were Liew Vui Keong (6,230), Muhyiddin Yassin (6,089), Darrel Leiking (5,434), Dr Xavier Jeyakumar (6,547), Anthony Loke (5,596), Salahuddin Ayub (6,395), Mohamadin Ketapi (7,848), Saifuddin Abdullah (5,370), Redzuan Othman (8,810), Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (6,075), Rina Harun (7,594), Baru Bian (6,198), Yeo Yee Bin (5,659) and Gobind Singh Deo (6,290).

The most likeable minister in terms of fewest votes for his removal was Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad with 4,683 votes.

Comments from voters were not positive either. The majority wanted all the ministers to be replaced for underperforming.

Some also called for Parliament to be dissolved while others said PH had failed to fulfil its manifesto.

PH, which took over the federal government in May 2018, has yet to deliver all of its election promises. It has abolished the goods and services tax (GST) but not tolls nor has it written off the higher education study loans (PTPTN) as pledged. – TMI