The Education Portfolio & Its Landmines
In the wake of Dr Maszlee Malik’s resignation as Minister of Education, various names have been proposed as his replacement. Possible candidates touted include:
i) Saifuddin Abdullah, the current Foreign Minister;
ii) Mustapa Mohamed, the former International Trade and Industry Minister;
iii) Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a notable economist;
iv) Mohd Sham Mohd Sani, former Vice Chancellor of the National University of Malaysia;
v) Nurul Izzah Anwar, Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh.
It cannot be denied that Dr Maszlee brought about some notable reforms during his 20 month tenure. However, it was also marred with controversy. During his press conference on 2nd January 2020, Dr Maszlee was quoted as having said:
“I have been seen to be the cause of many crises, including the Jawi calligraphy issue, Internet at schools and the free breakfast programme.”
It is undeniable that the Education portfolio is rife with Catch-22s, resulting in this particular ministerial position being a less than desirable one.