Teachers can praise but not openly bash government, Umno Youth vice chief says

BY BOO SU-LYN
Khairul Azwan said that teachers in the civil service who were openly critical of the government had abused the mandate that voters gave to the government. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Teachers and other civil servants are encouraged to promote good government policies, but as in the private sector, they cannot publicly discredit their employer, Umno Youth said today.

Umno Youth vice chief Khairul Azwan Harun also stressed that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government did not force civil servants to vote for the ruling coalition.

“In the private sector, when an employee is found to engage in a manner that damages his employer’s image, he’s subject to disciplinary action… It’s similar in the civil service,” Khairul Azwan told reporters in his office here.

“Government officers must be able to promote good policies of the government, but if they think there are flaws and weaknesses, don’t bash the government but voice out in the right channels,” he added, pointing out that workers in the private sector, likewise, were permitted to praise their employer.

The Education Ministry said Monday that show-cause letters were issued to five teachers for allegedly criticising the government on a shared stage with Opposition politicians recently.

Khairul Azwan, who is a senator, also said that teachers in the civil service who were openly critical of the government had abused the mandate that voters gave to the government.

He added that disciplinary action could be taken against teachers who openly criticised the Penang or Selangor state governments under Pakatan control.

“It’s not based on any political belief,” said Khairul Azwan. “If a teacher bashes the government and poisons students’ minds, that’s wrong.”