KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said today he has instructed officers in his ministry to cease pursuing action against those who insult or criticise him.
On Twitter, he said he was recently informed of one instance where a ministry intern was given a show-case letter over a criticism against him.
“I accept criticisms with an open heart. I was once sacked from work for criticising BN. I do not want the same culture to continue,” Syed Saddiq said, referring to the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
Syed Saddiq was a Perdana Fellow to then minister at the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
A copy of a letter was spread of social media, in which one Mohammad Shakir Ariff Mohd Shaifuddin was informed that he was found to have violated clauses of his agreement on November 17 and 18, for “tarnishing the name of his company, the fellowship, and the government”.
Shakir Ariff is a part of the Corporate Fellowship Programme for graduates, which pairs them with chief executive officers of large companies.
He was subsequently told to send in a written response to the letter within seven days from the December 23 date of the letter, with failure to do so subject to action by the programme.
The letter was signed by a director of the National Youth and Sports Department under the ministry.
The issue was picked up by Pasir Gudang Umno Youth information chief Madyasir Ahmad Basir, who criticised Syed Saddiq on Twitter for failing to uphold the concept of freedom of speech which Madyasir claimed had been fought for in the past.
In a reply to Syed Saddiq today, Shakir Ariff said the minister’s statement was incorrect as he did not insult Syed Saddiq and was merely criticising his actions.