KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has denied threatening to sack educators and civil servants who support the federal Opposition.
Mahdzir posted a screenshot of a Malaysian Insight article allegedly quoting him as saying so on his Instagram account, with an accompanying caption comment refuting the contents of the report.
“I have never come up with such a statement, and in fact have no wish to disturb educators involved in politics up to the point of having them fired. Instead I requested they conduct themselves professionally in their capacities as civil servants,” he said.
Yesterday, national newswire Bernama reported that the minister was merely reminding educators involved in politics against breaking the rules binding the civil service.
He reportedly said that as civil servants, they were bound to certain rules in the civil service, especially on matters which were opposed to government policies.
“Although there are some educators who support Opposition political parties, they need to ‘fine tune’ and put a ‘buffer zone’ between their career and political ideology so as not to highlight the character of haters and anti-government elements,” he had said when commenting on the tendency of educators to go on the Opposition stage to publicly disclose what they did not like with regard to the ruling government.
He said the ministry did not intend to disturb the educators to the point of finding it necessary to remove them from service but asked them to act professionally as civil servants.
Bersih 2.0 today criticised Mahdzir for his alleged remarks and urged the Election Commission (EC) to investigate the matter, saying that citizens have a right to vote without fear or favour and to maintain the secrecy of their votes.