Education Minister Maszlee Malik announced his resignation, effective tomorrow, during a special media conference in Putrajaya this evening.
He said the decision was made after meeting with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whom he described as a father figure.
"After meeting with Tun (Mahathir) and on his advice - who to me is a statesman, a father figure - with a willing and heavy heart, I Maszlee Malik return my position as education minister to the prime minister effective Jan 3," he said.
The former lecturer, who has been the constant target of criticism, also listed the achievements of the Education Ministry under his stewardship.
Asked why he resigned, Maszlee repeatedly deflected by saying he "believed in the leadership of the prime minister."
"I believe whatever decision made that had been advised to me by the prime minister is for the best interest of the country and I’m always here to serve the country in whatever position I’m in," he said.
Prior to announcing his resignation, the former lecturer, who has been the constant target of criticism, listed the achievements of the Education Ministry under his stewardship.
Among the achievements he cited, were the speedy completion of impoverished school projects, the zero-reject policy, schooling for undocumented children, and tackling corruption within the ministry.
However, he said the ministry's achievements are often drowned out by the negative press.
"I am seen not through these achievements. The Education Ministry is often the target of the media, certain groups, and politicians, not because of our achievements, our contributions to society which have given significant meaning.
"What we've achieved in these 20 months could not be achieved in the past... but unfortunately this did not get attention for headlines and titles. Sensational titles are more toward insults, many sensitive issues which were purposely inflated became the main choice.
"In the end, I as the education minister was seen to have created many crises for the leadership, such as on Jawi, Internet at schools, and the free breakfast, among other issues," Maszlee said.
He added that the ministry was inundated by politicking more than education issues.