PETALING JAYA, May 18 – Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has announced that he is no longer the education minister, a day after he named himself for the portfolio, sparking criticism from some Pakatan Harapan leaders who said it violated a promise by the coalition that the prime minister would not hold any other ministerial posts.
“I cannot break (the promise) at the moment, unless of course there is a demand that I take up the education portfolio,” he said.
Yesterday, several PH leaders said Mahathir’s announcement went against the coalition’s election manifesto which clearly states the prime minister would not hold any other portfolios especially finance.
But top PH leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang had come to Mahathir’s defence.
The Pakatan Harapan Manifesto among others states that the prime minister “will not simultaneously hold other ministerial posts, especially the post of minister of finance”.
But Kit Siang said the statement was “open to different construction”.
“There is an absolute prohibition on the prime minister holding the post of Minister of Finance, which is not applicable to other ministries.
“For this reason, Mahathir’s helping of the education ministry does not violate the letter and spirit of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto,” the DAP leader had said.