And The Acting Education Minister Is...

...Tun M.

Cover image via Going Places Magazine

The Cabinet has decided that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will helm the Education Ministry portfolio "temporarily"

In a statement posted on Dr Mahathir's official Twitter account earlier today, 10 January, it was announced that he will serve as the acting Education Minister.

"The decision will take effect on 3 January 2020 and Dr Mahathir will assume the position until a new education minister is appointed," the statement read.

The decision was made during a weekly meeting on Wednesday

According to the statement, the Cabinet agreed on the decision on 8 January.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was reported saying that the Cabinet has already chosen someone

Lim, however, said that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will make the announcement.

"We did make a decision on that, but let the Prime Minister announce it," Lim was quoted saying by Malaysiakini in a press conference at the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) building, 8 January.

Dr Mahathir, who was the Education Minister from 1974 to 1977, had said on 17 May 2018 that he is taking the Education Ministry post.

However, he gave up the portfolio a day later after being reminded of a pledge made in the Pakatan Harapan's manifesto.

Back on 18 May 2018, Dr Mahathir had said, "I cannot break (the Pakatan Harapan manifesto pledge) at the moment. Unless, of course, there is a demand that I take up the Education portfolio."

According to the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, the Prime Minister "will not hold other ministerial posts, especially the post of Minister of Finance".

The post of Education Minister has been vacant since Dr Maszlee was asked to step down from the post by Dr Mahathir on 2 January:

An overview of the initiatives Dr Maszlee enforced during his time: