Reminder not to support opposition was ‘fatherly advice’, says Mahdzir’s press team


Source: The Malaysian Insight

Mahdzir Khalid

Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid was ‘only advising you not to make statements that could negatively affect your future’. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 20, 2018.

EDUCATION Minister Mahdzir Khalid was giving “fatherly advice” when he reminded teachers and education officers not to support the opposition, the minister’s press team said on Twitter.

“What he said was like the advice that a father would give his children and not as the media have made it out to be in news that have gone viral,” the Education Ministry’s Media and Communications Office posted on Twitter late last night.

“He advises everyone, especially the civil servants, to be wise when making decisions and when issuing statements against the government, because they serve the government for the sake of the people.

“The statements you make can undermine your (civil servants) position in the public sector. Hence, he was only advising you not to make statements that could negatively affect your future. Thank you.”

The tweets were accompanied by a report of Mahdzir being quoted by Chinese daily Kwong Wah telling teachers that disciplinary action would be taken against them if they backed the opposition.

He said civil servants, including education department officers and teachers, were barred from joining any opposition party or criticising the government as these were tantamount to sabotaging the government and tarnishing its image.

Mahdzir, who was delivering the ministry’s new year message at an event in Putrajaya, was quoted telling teachers who were guilty of such acts to resign before the ministry asked them to do so.

It was all right, however, if the teachers were to join any of the ruling political parties, he said.

National news agency Bernama reported a less strident version of  Mahdzir’s speech, quoting him as saying teachers in opposition political parties had to put a “buffer” between their political ideology and their work.

He reportedly said the ministry did not “want to disturb educators to the point of removing them from service” and hoped the teachers would “act professionally”. – January 20, 2018.