Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday (May 18) that he will not be taking up the education portfolio as announced on Thursday, as it will violate the election manifesto of his ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan.
He said this in a video titled "The 'Education Minister' issue. This is Mahathir's response", posted on the Facebook account of his political party.
"That is a provision of the manifesto. I can't break it at the moment... of course, there is a demand that I take up (the) education (portfolio)," he added.
Asked if he would take up the portfolio, he replied: "I cannot."
Asked if he personally would like to head the Education Ministry, he said: "I would like to. Otherwise, why I would choose that portfolio."
PM Mahathir's announcement on Thursday about becoming the Education Minister was questioned on social media and by some in his ruling coalition, as it the PH manifesto clearly stated that the prime minister would not hold another ministerial portfolio.
This was promised to voters due to concerns that power was being concentrated in the hands of previous prime ministers, with Barisan Nasional premiers often being the powerful finance minister too.