“Shoe Minister” Maszlee Should Be Fired!! – Here’s Why PM Mahathir Should Take Over As Education Minister

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Nov 15 2018
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Dr. Maszlee Malik was never meant to become the Education Minister of the new government that brought down the previous corrupted Barisan Nasional government. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wanted the portfolio for himself. Mahathir was actually the first Education Minister – not Maszlee – of the new Pakatan Harapan Government.


Mahathir, who announced in a press conference on May 17th that he will be taking the Education Ministry portfolio to fix the Malaysia’s outdated education system – gave up the post – after being lectured that he cannot hold any portfolios as it goes against the pledge made by the newly formed Pakatan Harapan Government’s manifesto.


So, after holding the post for only “1-day”, Mahathir appointed Dr. Maszlee Malik the next day on May 18th as the new Education Minister. Not only was Maszlee an accidental Minister of Education, he was extremely lucky for being at the right place at the right time, considering he joined Mahathir’s party – Parti Pribumi BERSATU Malaysia (PPBM) – only on Mar 12th, 2018.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik - Biodata Resume

The inexperienced Maszlee himself did not expect to be given such a vital portfolio. While his credentials are pretty awesome, perhaps it was a huge mistake from the beginning betting on him. He may be a great lecturer and intellectual at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), but he certainly is a failure as a minister in charge of the Ministry of Education.


Close to 6 months after his appointment, Dr. Maszlee is now known as the “Shoe Minister”, a humiliating recognition after his proposal on July 20 to switch students’ white shoes to black. He dares not discuss about more pressing matters such as the recognition of Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). He was also involved in the controversial IIUM presidency crisis.


Maszlee’s stubbornness in accepting his appointment as IIUM president has taken a heavy toll on him. He should not have had picked a fight with some student groups in the first place. He was condemned for going against Pakatan Harapan’s promise not to appoint politicians to manage universities. His insistence to become the 7th president of IIUM on Sept 5 is beyond comprehension.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik - White Shoes Black Shoes

At best, it gives an impression he loves his presidency at IIUM more than his ministership at Education Ministry. At worst, it gives a perception of his arrogance of power, not to mention his greediness for positions. Either way, he screwed up spectacularly. If Mahathir could give up his Education Ministership quickly after being criticised, why Maszlee could not do the same?


It was only after PPBM President Muhyiddin Yassin issued an “instruction” to Maszlee, after consultation with the Cabinet, that the stubborn minister agreed to relinquish the IIUM president’s post. However, the damage has already been done. Dr. Maszlee has already lost his credibility. He should have made up his mind whether he wanted the IIUM or Ministry of Education –  not both.


The rumours about a Cabinet reshuffle, which PM Mahathir has just shot down today, had been going around which involved booting Maszlee from the Education Ministry due to his incompetency. At the current snail’s pace he is managing and overhauling his ministry, perhaps it’s true that Maszlee is more suitable running a university, and not a ministry.

Mahathir Mohamad - World’s Oldest PM - 1981 to 2003 and 2018 to Current

Maszlee should be fired, and Mahathir should take over the ministry, regardless what other component parties of Pakatan Harapan say. According to a source quoted by The Malaysian Insight news portal, Mahathir’s grand plan to overhaul the country’s entire education system was sparked by a school timetable, which he had asked before he went on his trip to Japan.


Apparently, the 93-year-old prime minister, upon studying the timetable, was upset that a lot of time is allocated for religious studies. The subject came third in terms of time spent after Bahasa Malaysia and English. Mahathir was particularly frustrated that in spite of ample time given to religious studies in school, indiscipline and low ethics remain rampant.


Upon his return from Japan (Nov 9), Mahathir summoned Dr Maszlee Malik. During their one-hour meeting, the premier told him to “overhaul” the school curriculum to produce citizens with good values, including good work ethics and integrity. The PM told him that he has long advocated schools teach high values and ethics from his days as Education Minister between 1974 and 1977.

Malaysia Education System - Screw Up

Hence, during a high tea session with Malaysians living in Singapore on Monday (Nov 12), the same event where Mahathir urged Malaysians staying abroad to return home, he said – “The current education system is bad. It needs to be revolutionised. What they learn (now) is not what they should learn. We need to change the curriculum and timetable and what they learn in school.”


The following day (Nov 13), Education Minister Dr Maszlee announced to all and sundry that his ministry will formulate a new curriculum, expected to be rolled out by the end of 2020 or early 2021. He said it would be implemented in stages and based on the recommendations by the ministry’s Policy Committee and National Education Advisory Council (MPPK).


Maszlee said the new curriculum would ensure that the subjects to be taught in school would not burden the students and teachers. Aside from prepping students for the working world, they would also be exposed to high-level thinking skills which comply with international standards. Prior to implementation, the education ministry, policy committee and MPPK will meet PM Mahathir to get his views.

Mahathir Mohamad - Honorary Doctor of Laws - NUS National University of Singapore

Now, the burning question is how come it was Mahathir – not Maszlee – who actually realized the education system was so problematic that it needs a major overhaul? Amazingly, a 93-year-old prime minister managed to spot the weakness just based on a piece of information – school timetable – when it should be the job of the 43-year-old education minister.


It appears Education Minister Maszlee Malik is as clueless as his predecessors from the previous Barisan Nasional government, unable to reform, let alone revolutionise the country’s screwed-up education system. He doesn’t look like a leader who can lead and drive the minister to the right direction. Perhaps his greatest strength is merely teaching religious studies at college or university.


And since it was Mahathir who actually has proven his ability cracking the formula of overhauling the education system, should not the prime minister be given the difficult task of fixing the problems? After all, it seems only Mahathir is capable of making hard decision, on top of his skillsets in analysis and troubleshooting. Maszlee is too afraid to make unpopular decisions. He should be fired!!

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik - IIUM President


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I fully agree that TM should be the in-charge of the Education Ministry in the first place. Someone who has past experience in this field. He knows exactly the needs and problems of our present education system. Furthermore he has the authority and wisdom to revamp the system. We don’t want a taxi driver to man the airplane.

Please fire him asap. Children are complaining about having to wear black shoes!!

Fully Agree…
Appears only Mahathir has the standing and guts to do what is right for our messed up education system….

Let us give a chance to Dr Maszlee to carry out his job. Every oppurtinity should be given to him so that he can implement his vision as education minister. It is really not fair to judge him since he only assume the post 6 months ago. Within this short period, we find that Dr Maszlee has proposed a number of new initiatives. He encourage school to spread the feeling of love among teachers and students. He also proposed tests and exams for standard 1 to standart 3 students should be abolised and replaced by continuous assessment of children based on teaching on basic good values like loving one another, honesty, cleenliness and other good value. He encourage schools to organise visits to other schools so that children of different races can mix and learn from each other. All these initiatives are new and should be supported by us. Perhaps in the long terms, perhaps he will look at the whole curriculum and try to improve it to raise the standard of education in our country

Maszlee ini memang one-of-the-kind. He is so incompetent, i cannot believe why he was appointed in the first place. And when he said things like….Islamic teachers should go to Borneo to convert students there into Muslim, I think this is the final straw. #fireMaszlee #buangMaszlee

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