KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 (Bernama) -- Just two days into the new year, Dr Maszlee Malik today caught everyone by surprise when he announced his resignation as Minister of Education effective tomorrow.
The Simpang Renggam MP was among the first few to be appointed as cabinet ministers for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government following the 14th general election in May 2018.
Born in Johor Bahru, Maszlee, 45, was a lecturer at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (UIAM) before joining the political arena.
The Bersatu Supreme Council member had previously contributed to a number of think tanks and had been invited as panelist or moderator for forums on issues related to Islamic politics and the politics of West Asia.
Maszlee who holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Al al-Bayt in Jordan later pursued a Master’s degree at the University of Malaya, both in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and Usul al-Fiqh (principles of Islamic jurisprudence.
He furthered his studies at the School of Governments and International Affairs at Durham University in 2007 where he received a doctorate in the field of good governance in 2011.
MASZLEE-QUITS 2 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR
Since taking over as education minister, Maszlee had sought to introduce a number of reforms in the education system that have sparked a wide range of reactions including polemical. Some quarters had considered the reforms trivial and inappropriate.
The biggest uproar was the introduction of Jawi writing and calligraphy in the Malay language syllabus for primary schoolchildren in Year 4 at Chinese and Tamil national type schools, which was strongly opposed by parents and the United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong).
Nevertheless, Maszlee should also be given credit for some of the achievements made by the Ministry of Education under his leadership.
Maszlee stood firm when he prohibited the distribution of the comic books titled Inisiatif Jalur dan Jalan Meraih Manfaat Bersama in schools, which were allegedly Communist propaganda, despite receiving criticism from those who thought the materials were of no threat.
Rumours that Maszlee would be stepping down surfaced this afternoon and at a special press conference in Putrajaya this evening, he confirmed his resignation effective tomorrow on the advice of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
TAGs : Maszlee Malik, resignation, education ministry, Jawi, reforms