Teachers working for the BN government should support BN component parties, says a Sarawak MP.
KUCHING: Teachers working in the Barisan Nasional administered central and state governments must be loyal to the ruling party.
Sri Aman MP Masir Kujat said although every citizen had a right of choice, “teachers working for the BN government should support BN component (parties).”
Kujat was commenting on information he had received that several teachers posted to schools in the Sri Aman division had openly campaigned for Pakatan Rakyat during the run-up to the 13th general election.
His comments were carried in the cetusankenyalang blogsite recently.
Kujat was however also quoted as saying that he was ‘considerate’ and had referred “only a few” of these “dissenting” teachers to the Education Department in Sri Aman.
“I have not brought up the matter to the Education Ministry for further action.
“They could face severe punishment if they were referred to the ministry. I am still considerate enough, I will not do that,” Masir was quoted as saying.
He said the teachers should focus on their work and the trust given to them in educating the children, and not spending their time politicking.
Kujat was echoing a post-election chiding by Parti Rakyat Sarawak president James Masing.
Masing, a Senior Minister in the state administration, had in June this year rebuked certain civil servants, particularly teachers, for their anti-establishment mind-set.
“They think they know everything just by looking at certain files and documents and start telling people that they know everything. This is a wrong approach to life,” Masing was quoted in a local daily. Union disagrees
A few days later, he further criticised some government officers, including teachers. He said these employees had publicly expressed their political opinions during the 13th GE even though it was against the government’s order.
“You cannot do (opinionate) this publicly unless you are members of a political party. My advice to government officers, including teachers, is to follow instructions of the government of the day.
“As long as you are on government’s payroll, you can’t go against the government,” he reportedly said.
The Sarawak Teachers Union (STU) advisor William Ghani Bina had in turn chided Masing.
He said the teachers had a right to voice their disagreements to unfair government policies.
The Sarawak opposition also chided Masing for his remarks and demanded that the latter apologised to all teachers.
State PKR information chief Vernon Aji Kedit said Masing did not have the right to question teachers’ knowledge about the General Orders of the Civil Service nor insult the intelligence of civil servants in general.