Friday, July 30, 2010


Teachers in grades DG41 to DG48 can engage in politics
(Quoted from The Star 27 July 2010)

KUALA LUMPUR: Beginning Aug 1, graduate education service officers (teachers) on grades DG41 to DG48 will be permitted to engage in politics, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan announced Tuesday.
He said the move was based on the fact that teachers, at one time, played an important role as community leaders in the country's political scenario.
"The time has come for them to be allowed to be active again in politics," he said in a statement.
For this purpose, he said, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin had consented to an amendment to Regulation 21 of the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993. Action was being taken to gazette the amendment to the regulation, he added.
Regulation 21(2) now states that only officers in the Support Group can contest or hold any position or be appointed to any post in any political party, on the condition that they obtain prior written approval from the director-general of the Public Service Department or the secretary-general of the relevant ministry.
Under the amended regulation, education officers, other than principals or headmasters and officers holding any administrative post in any government agency, have to obtain a prior written approval from the secretary-general of the Education Ministry.
"The secretary-general of the Education Ministry cannot delegate his authority to give the written approval to anyone, and any decision of the secretary-general of the Education Ministry is final," said Mohd Sidek.
He said tight conditions would be imposed to ensure that the primary duties and focus of the group, which was to educate children, were not affected by their involvement in politics.
He said those allowed to be involved in politics must adhere fully to the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993. - Bernama

It is a good thing that teachers are allowed to actively participate in politics. However, a few clauses raise my pessimism. Firstly, they have to apply for permission from Secretary-General. Will the SG b neutral in approving for the applications? Secondly, SG decision will be final. So, what will happen if misuse of power really takes place? Anyhow, these are all realist views. These do not necessary will happen. Hope that I can be more optimistic and freedom of participation in politics can be upheld.

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