PETALING JAYA, May 17 – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced today that he would also be the Education Minister in the Cabinet of the new government.
At a press conference after a meeting of the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council here, he said PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who has been named the Deputy Prime Minister, would also serve as the Minister for Women’s Affairs and Welfare.
Dr Mahathir had previously named PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the Minister of Home Affairs, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as the Minister of Finance and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu as the Minister of Defence.
Commenting on the education portfolio he would assume, Dr Mahathir said: “I took over the education portfolio because there are many uneducated people in this country and we have to give attention to that. Plus, our way of teaching is also outdated and we need new ways of teaching, with computers and other technologies.
The existing Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education would be merged for the moment into the Ministry of Education. Dr Mahathir said all the ministers appointed so far and eight others to be appointed this week would be sworn in on Monday.
“We will try to get 13 ministers to be sworn in on Monday (May 21) with the consent of the King,” he said. Asked about the delay in announcing the rest of the ministers, Dr Mahathir said much consideration was needed in the selection of ministers.
“We have four parties in PH (Pakatan Harapan) and every party desires particular ministries, and there is an overlap in some cases. So, we need more time to determine the suitable people who will helm certain ministries,” he said.
Replying to a question, he said there had been no element of nepotism in the selection of members of the Cabinet. “But, if we think that they are suitable, based on their work, merit, we will still consider them. It’s not right to penalise simply because he (or she) is related to so-and-so,” he said. — Bernama