Keep politics out of civil service — Emmanuel Joseph

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY EMMANUEL JOSEPH

RECENTLY, the Education Minister warned teachers and staff of the Education Ministry to stay out of “opposition” political activities. Strangely, later in the speech, the minister appeared to encourage the same audience to participate in ‘government’ party activites.

As lopsided as his comment seemed, the minister was not really suggesting something new, but merely putting on record, what appears to be the unwritten rule about political participation amongst civil servants; open support for the opposition is frowned upon, while open support for the Government is quite encouraged.

This policy, partially official but partially not, also sees schools, hospitals, mosques and other government-run facilities, shy away from hosting visits by opposition leaders, even if they are members of a state government that is run by the (Federal) opposition.

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Freedom of speech in Malaysia — Emmanuel Joseph

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY EMMANUEL JOSEPH

MALAYSIA often promotes itself as a democracy, with all its hallmarks of fair and free elections, freedom of religion, and of course, freedom of speech. Believers of this often quote Article 10 of the Federal Constitution as evidence of these rights – Clause 1a guarantees freedom of speech and expression, 1b, freedom of association and 1c, freedom of assembly.

But skeptics would point out the qualifying statement immediately preceding those declarations, followed by three lengthier clauses that significantly limit those rights, makes them rights far from absolute.  Read more