Too many portfolios for Dr M to handle

We can understand the need to respect cabinet decisions but when the prime minister is said to be the acting education minister following Maszlee Malik’s resignation, we need to ask some obvious questions.

Is the country so bankrupt of talent and capability that there is no one else who can be appointed to helm the Education Ministry that has sunken so far low in performance and achievements?

At 94, how much attention can our beloved prime minister give to the ministry given his “unfinished” business of politics?

Hence, do we blame commoner citizens if they start speculating with all sorts of opinion-forming?

Honestly, dear and revered members of the cabinet, tell us, is the 30 million population in the country devoid of just one single citizen who can take on the leadership at the Education Ministry?

Are there no learned, experienced and wise educationist who can be part of the Pakatan Harapan inner circle that sold us the Harapan manifesto?

Until we get some honest answers, it will be a field day for the opposition camps for sure. – MKINI

Chinese groups cautious over PM’s education minister role

CHINESE civil society groups hope Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be able to restore the community’s faith in the education system by resolving problems that have cropped up under the current government.

They said the community’s trust towards the Pakatan Harapan government had eroded during Maszlee Malik’s tenure as education minister, and especially following the controversy over the teaching of Jawi in vernacular schools.

Zhong Hua Language Education Loving Parents Network Association (Jia Zong) adviser Edward Neoh Chuan Tat said the association believed as acting minister, Dr Mahathir could bridge the divide between vernacular schools and the ministry.

“We believe that the prime minister has his specific reasons for asking Maszlee to resign and taking over,” Neoh said.

Neoh highlighted the need for a strong minister to carry the delicate portfolio.

He also hoped that Dr Mahathir will set the record straight on the certain matters, such as the right of each school’s board of directors to decide on whether the jawi module should be taught.

Neoh said there are also concerns that Dr Mahathir may re-implement old policies, including teaching Maths and Science in English.

“Nevertheless, I feel that the state of education in the country has not improved over the years, and has become worse over time. We need a strong education minister to address these problems.”

He added that the prime minister has vast experience in leading the government, and officials will not take their duties lightly if he helms the ministry.

Meanwhile, Chinese Language Council chairman Wang Hong Chai reminded Dr Mahathir to take into account the needs of vernacular schools before implementing new policies.

“We know that the prime minister has always had his own ideas about the development of education in our country, and many of them have caused disagreements in the Chinese community in the past.

“Therefore, I hope that the prime minister can engage all stakeholders before making decisions,” he said.

He added that the Education Ministry is a complex portfolio to handle as it covers a slew of segments, and policies have to be constantly updated.

“The prime minister himself has to lead the entire cabinet and ensure it runs smoothly. His workload is already very heavy, and now that he is also the acting education minister, it will be an added burden on him.

“However, it seems like he has carefully considered this before assuming the position,” he said.

Dong Jiao Zong chairman Tan Tai Kim said he hoped Dr Mahathir will engage stakeholders on issues involving vernacular schools.

In the past, he said, the prime minister had bulldozed policies without much discussion with them.

“It’s something we worry about,” he said.

Asked if he was concerned about the Unified Examination Certification (UEC) being recognised, he said that was PH’s commitment.

He added that Dong Zong will convene a meeting to discuss the development soon.  ANN