On Friday, 18 May, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that he is no longer taking the Education Ministry portfolio to honour the pledge made in the Pakatan Harapan's manifesto
In a video posted on PPBM's Facebook page, Tun Dr Mahathir explained that he cannot break the manifesto promise, which states that the Prime Minister "will not hold other ministerial posts, especially the post of Minister of Finance."
However, the 92-year-old added that he will reconsider the decision if "there is a demand that I take up the Education portfolio."
Later that same day, it was announced that the Education Minister-designate is political newcomer Dr Maszlee Malik
Dr Maszlee joined Tun Dr Mahathir's Parti Pribumi BERSATU Malaysia (PPBM) in March and was elected as the Member of the Parliament (MP) from Simpang Renggam.
In a report by The Star Online, Dr Ong Kian Ming was quick to support Dr Maszlee's appointment, saying that, "His ideas are wide-ranging and progressive. He is open to engagement and dialogue. I'm sure he will bring this openness to his portfolio."
However, a Malaysian who was disappointed with the change has created a Change.org petition asking for Tun Dr Mahathir to return to the Education portfolio
The petition, which is addressed to the new Pakatan Harapan Government and was started by Raveen Dev, urges Malaysians that,"If you, like us believe Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be the Education Minister and will bring much needed reforms to the Education system in this country, please do take a moment to sign this petition and share it among your friends and family."
At the time of writing, over 67,000 signatures were collected in the petition with a target of 75,000 signatures.
A supporter of Maszlee started a petition of her own, arguing that the 44-year-old is more than qualified for the role
Citing his vast experience in academia and many accolades, the petition read that, "With reforms in education driving his main agenda, this man is setting the change in education we all have been waiting for."
At the time of writing, the petition started by Nurul Fitrah Marican has garnered over 78,000 signatures.