Maszlee’s deputy declines to answer questions on her status

PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching was quick to depart the ministry’s lobby following Dr Maszlee Malik announced his resignation as education minister.

Teo, whom some Chinese-language media had speculated was on shaky ground herself, was seemingly in a rush to leave despite press members calling out to her for her comments on Maszlee’s abrupt departure.

Members of the press who were hoping to get some insight were left disappointed.

A reporter there who declined to be named said, “Many of us were chasing after Teo, calling out to her for comments, but she evaded us quickly and left the scene.”

Earlier Thursday, Maszlee announced his resignation effective Friday (Jan 3), just hours after he had been spending time at schools to commemorate the first day of school on the west coast.

During his announcement, he listed out the achievements of the ministry in the 20 months he was in charge.

He said that despite the successes, he continued to be criticised in the public over certain issues that have been played up.

“I have been seen to be the cause of many crises, including the Jawi calligraphy issue, Internet at schools and the free breakfast programme.

“However, I believe I have placed a foundation and a clear framework for the ministry to follow, ” he added.

The Parti Bersatu Pribumi Malaysia supreme council member had had a meeting with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, also his party chairman, prior to making the announcement.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister in a statement said he has accepted Maszlee's resignation and would decide on a replacement soon.

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