Tuesday, December 6

Justify govt’s decision to allow teachers to get involved in politics, KK MP urges PM

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Chan (centre) hands over a Chinese New Year goodie bag to Gaya Street Hawkers Association chairman Lee Chee Kong while Tan (right) looks on.

KOTA KINABALU (Jan 23): Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin has called on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to justify the government’s decision to allow all school teachers under the Education Ministry (MOE) nationwide to get involved in politics.

“I do hope the Prime Minister has a noble intention when he announced this. What is his justification behind this decision?” he asked.

Chan said he had his reservations about giving teachers the green light to be involved in politics.

“If teachers can participate in politics and join political parties as a member, I am not sure about other civil servants. Civil servants should the politically neutral and politically impartial.

“For this reason, I have my reservations about this issue, “ Chan told reporters during his Chinese New Year walkabout at the Sunday Market at Gaya Street here.

He was asked to comment on Ismail Sabri’s announcement yesterday that the Cabinet had decided that school teachers and Kemas personnel nationwide would be allowed to engage in politics with immediate effect.

Chan said while civil servants should be impartial, human beings have the right to participate in politics.

“So how do we strike a balance?”

On whether the move to allow teachers to venture into politics would be advantageous to the current government, particularly as the minimum voting age has been lowered to 18, Chan said there were many factors that could influence the new voters, such as their family members, peers and even YouTubers.

Hence, he believed that teachers would not have 100 per cent influence on young voters even if they followed the instruction of the government-of-the-day to sway the students.