Allowing teachers’ political involvement a move towards greater democracy


THE government’s decision to allow teachers under the Education Ministry as well as staff of the Community Development Department (Kemas) to get involved in politics should be given the benefit of the doubt.

I believe that this decision will not affect the teaching profession, but can be considered as a step towards greater openness and maturity for our nation’s politics.

As the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said, it is in line with the democratic rights of the people that teachers as well should be allowed to get involved in politics.

Nevertheless, the Education Ministry must prepare a detailed list of SOPs and restrictions within school grounds to prevent irresponsible parties from abusing this freedom to brainwash innocent students.

In addition, it is highly possible that teachers with political backgrounds will use the teaching platform to indirectly indoctrinate students with their personal views, or even promote their own political dogma.

Hence, even if the majority of teachers are teaching professionally, these instances make it clear that a strict, comprehensive set of SOPs is paramount to prevent abuse of this freedom.

Besides that, with UNDI18 in effect from 16 January, youths aged 18 and above will be fulfilling their civic duty of voting in future elections.

Hence, students can have higher political awareness by gaining exposure and knowledge while they are 16 or 17 to prepare them for voting.

Therefore, the basic requirement for teachers with political backgrounds should be to declare the political positions they hold to the school authority beforehand; also, the school authority must not ignore any complaints coming from students or parents, but instead ensure transparent investigations for any allegations about abuse of teacher’s privilege for political mileage.

LAU CHIN KOK

MCA Central Committee Member

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