Respect Maszlee’s decision to resign Hope the new minister will continue to carry out reforms

Statement by Dong Zong

3 January 2020

Respect Maszlee’s decision to resign

Hope the new minister will continue to carry out reforms


Dong Zong expresses surprise over the recent abrupt resignation of Minister of Education Dr. Maszlee Malik. Nevertheless, we respect his decision and we hope that his resignation will not affect the policy reforms that have been implemented by the Ministry of Education in recent year.  


Implementation of education policy reforms is not seen as an individual’s effort in taking a hundred steps forward. Rather, it is more aptly perceived as a hundred people working together to take a step forward. It is our wish that the new candidate to lead the Ministry of Education will see himself as a Minister of Education for all the people of Malaysia. He should possess the attribute of policy sensitivity such that before implementing any major measure, he will communicate and dialogue with the relevant organizations from various ethnic communities in order to ensure smooth implementation, acceptance by the people as well as achievement of efficiency and effectiveness. We also hope that the new Minister of Education will consider to include the boards of directors of Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the list of decision-making units for matters concerning the teaching of Jawi scripts, and that at the same time, he will implement the teaching of Jawi scripts in national-type schools based on the principle of multiculturalism in order to resolve the disputes soonest possible.


In the pluralistic context of Malaysia, the Minister of Education has to accommodate and harmonize the expectations of various communities. Such a portfolio is thus one of the most challenging in the Federal Cabinet. During his tenure as the Minister of Education, Dr. Maszlee Malik had done what he should in carrying out certain measures for educational reforms. His efforts in introducing various reforms such as granting autonomy to universities, abolishing examinations for pupils at lower primary school levels, promoting zero dropout programme, getting rid of corruption, implementing national reading campaign and so on should be viewed positively and recognized. 


A scholar enters politics but eventually finds the political reality in stark contrast with his values and convictions; such a story is not uncommon in history. Dong Zong hopes that former minister Dr. Maszlee Malik, after going through the experience of leading the Ministry of Education for the past 20 months, and having gained more practical realizations and in-depth reflections beyond the world of academia, will continue to do what he can for the nation and the society. We also wish that his successor will be able to carry on with the good policies formulated during his tenure of office, to break through constraints and to overcome pressure, all for creating a much more tolerant and accommodating new Malaysia. This is also the fervent hope of all the people in the country.