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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 ― Maszlee Malik had received a letter from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia “advising” him to vacate the education minister post, purportedly following several complaints and controversy, a source within the party has confirmed.
The source, who is not authorised to speak on the matter, however said the letter did not say why Maszlee should have quit ― prompting the Simpang Renggam MP to seek the advice of party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad earlier before his announcement.
“The letter was sent by the party, but did not detail the reason he should vacate the post,” the source told Malay Mail.
Malay Mail is currently seeking to verify the matter with Bersatu.
Maszlee had earlier confirmed that he will be resigning as the education minister effective tomorrow, making him the first from Dr Mahathir’s Cabinet to go since the 14th general election.
During a special press conference in Putrajaya, Maszlee said he made the decision on the advice of the prime minister after meeting him earlier today.
However, he did not disclose the reason behind his resignation.
Maszlee also said he is “returning” the post to Dr Mahathir, referring to his appointment after the prime minister dropped the education portfolio to honour the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto.
He expressed his confidence in Dr Mahathir’s leadership and loyalty to the party, adding that he understood what needed to be done, and thanked him for the opportunity to serve in the Cabinet.
In a statement shortly after Maszlee's press conference, Dr Mahathir thanked the former university lecturer for his service as education minister, after the latter tendered his resignation following the prime minister’s advice.
Dr Mahathir said he has yet to decide on a replacement for the post and will announce his decision soon.