On January 2, Maszlee Malik who was appointed as the Education Minister on 21 May 2018 by Tun Mahathir made headlines after he announced his sudden resignation from the position.
Quite quickly after his appointment as the Minister of Education, Maszlee became one of the media’s favourite Ministers’ to quote. However, his appearance in the media are often for matters that are controversial in nature. For example, in July 2018, Maszlee was heavily criticised for the implementation of black-shoe policy in government schools.
In May 2019, he came under fire even from Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders for linking the matriculation quota to language requirement for jobs.
As reflected in the PPBM Ministers graph, Maszlee is seen to come head-to-head with the Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq. Both politicians are ones to take up coverage in the media, however Maszlee was mostly highlighted for bad news.
Having said that, Syed Saddiq also had his fair share of controversy since assuming his Ministerial post such as the resignation of his LGBT advisor Numan Afifi. However, he often made populist decisions from time to time maintaining his relevance, like lowering the voting age to 18 years and hiring ex-convicts while Maszlee continued with his unpopular statements and decisions.
Following Maszlee’s resignation, words flew around that Tun Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz Mahathir would replace Maszlee as the new Education Minister. Other names included Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. There was also a petition started on change.org by petitioner Tuan Kencana, calling for Maszlee’s reinstatement.