KOTA BARU: All schoolteachers under the Education Ministry nationwide are allowed to get involved in politics with immediate effect, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the permission was also extended to the staff of the Community Development Department (Kemas).
Therefore, he said, the ministry should issue a circular on this immediately, if it has not already done so.
“I have already brought this matter to the Cabinet and decided, in line with the democratic rights of the people, which is permission for people to get involved in politics, to allow teachers to be political.
“Before this, Kemas staff were allowed to get involved in politics, but during the Pakatan Harapan era, they were disallowed from doing so.
“Hence, I would like to announce that Kemas staff are now allowed to get involved in politics.
“If it has not been issued, I hope the Education Ministry will issue the circular immediately so that no pressure is placed on these teachers,” he told a press conference after attending a special meeting with the state Umno political bureau at the Kelantan Umno building here yesterday.
Also present was Kelantan Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub.
Earlier, he said there was a circular prohibiting teachers from getting involved in politics, with many issued warnings that action could be taken against them.
However, Ismail Sabri explained that teachers and Kemas staff are still subject to the rules of their respective departments.
“For example, while dabbling in politics, teachers should not neglect their duties. Otherwise, disciplinary action can be taken and so on. It is up to the department (to make an assessment),” he said.
Ismail Sabri also said any decision on the school session would be made after a report on the increase in education clusters was obtained by the Covid-19 protem committee.
He said the Education Ministry had been asked to submit a report on the sharp increase in education clusters to the protem committee chaired by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
“If we are to close schools, parents will be worried about the future of their children because online learning is not fully accessible by everyone,” said Ismail Sabri.
About 70% or 62 of the 89 new clusters reported by the Health Ministry from Jan 15 to 21 involved educational institutions.
The highest number of education clusters was reported on Jan 19, with 16 of 20 new clusters detected at educational institutions.
On Friday, 11 out of the 12 clusters reported were education clusters, with two each in Kelantan, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Pahang, while one was recorded in Johor.
A total of 11 education clusters were also reported on Jan 18, and another 11 were recorded on Jan 20.
In a separate statement, Ismail Sabri said the government will ensure that all strategies outlined under Budget 2022 are implemented in an orderly manner for the people’s well-being, a resilient business sector and to spur sustainable economic growth.
For that purpose, the government had set up the Budget 2022 Monitoring Committee (JPB2022) to monitor the implementation and performance of initiatives under the Budget.
He said the committee will also recommend solutions, intervention measures and policy changes to ensure the smooth implementation of Budget 2022, which involves an allocation of RM332.1bil.
“The monitoring process will also involve close cooperation with ministries and implementing agencies to ensure efficient and effective public service delivery.
“JPB2022 will also look into the level of completion of the initiatives under the Budget and reconsider the total allocation for related initiatives, if necessary,” he added.
Subject matter experts will also be invited to attend JPB2022 meetings to provide input, in addition to feedback from the people and the business sector, which can also be given by calling 03-8882 4666.