Archive for category Politics

A post-PR, post-BN future for Malaysia?

— Zairil Khir Johari
Malay Mail Online
July 23, 2015

JULY 23 —Many Malaysians are understandably dismayed by the recent break-up of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR), a seven-year-old coalition that had been cobbled together by force of necessity following the unprecedented results of the 12th General Election in 2008.

In the aftermath of the landmark polls, which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition losing its customary two-thirds Parliamentary majority for the very first time, and in the process also relinquishing control over five out of 13 state governments, the three main opposition parties of DAP, PKR and Pas suddenly found themselves in the awkward position of having won enough seats to form five state governments – together. Thus, as entrenched differences were set aside for the sake of pragmatism, a tripartite coalition pact was forged.

For the most part, the arrangement functioned. By the next General Election in 2013, despite visible hairline cracks, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition was able to present itself as a viable alternative to the decades-long domination of the BN. This premise was confirmed by the results of the 13th General Election (GE13), which saw the three-party coalition picking up 52 per cent of the popular vote – but unfortunately denied the right to form the Federal Government, thanks to creative gerrymandering and malapportionment of seats.

Alas, that was to be the pinnacle of the PR story. Everything began to slide downhill after that. Aggressive goading by the dominant, Umno-controlled Malay media, quickly saw the Malay-Muslim ethno-religious nationalist agenda gaining traction. Coupled by factional infighting within Pas, this led to the resurgence of highly divisive issues such as the shariah criminal code, or hudud law.

In the end, amidst broken promises and much mudslinging between and within the PR component parties, Pas capitulated by ushering in a new slate of right-wing hawks as leaders, and by means of a motion to cut ties with the DAP during its general assembly, the fate of the coalition was sealed. Read the rest of this entry »

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By Abdul Rahman’s logic, I should have paid money for the so-called “info” about 1MDB, reckless about the mercenary’s motivation and the info’s veracity and demand Najib should accept them as gospel truth!

A few days ago, I received a call and the person on the other side of the line said he had all the info about the 1MDB scandal and asked whether I was interested.

When I said yes, he said he needed money and when I told him clearly and unmistakably that these are two separate issues which I am not prepared to link together, the caller ended the phone conversation. I have not heard from him since.

Have I acted wrongly?

The overnight Barisan Nasional strategic communications director, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government might think so, which is probably why he has suddenly become the champion of the dubious information offered by a dubious character regarding it as “pay dirt” and questioning the honour, honesty and credibility of those who had tried to pry open the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history – the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.

Abdul Rahman was so pachydermous that he even had the temerity to claim that he is emulating me when he tweeted: “When BN questioned the credibility of DAP’s sources, @limkitsiang always quick to say “Don’t shoot the messenger, focus on the message!” So?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Egg all over his face and he still does not know – a special quality of UMNO/BN Ministers and leaders

I do not know whether to commiserate or congratulate the overnight Barisan Nasional strategic communications director, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government who has undoubtedly won instant media fame (or is it infamy) by having egg all over his face.

The wonder of it all is that he is blissfully unaware that he has egg all over his face – a special quality of UMNO/BN Ministers and leaders.
He could even admit to having soiled goods but insist that the importance is the message not the messenger.

But if the messenger is disreputable and mercenary, what is the credibility of his message?

School children would be able to give proper answer to this question which seems to be beyond Abdul Rahman’s mental and moral capabilities – no wonder former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir keeps lamenting the low-standard of present-day Cabinet Ministers whom he and his former Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, have dismissed as “half-past six” or “deadwood” Ministers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Parti baharu sangat dinantikan

A Shukur Harun
The Malaysian Insider
7 July 2015

Pelbagai pihak, khususnya generasi muda, sedang menunggu-nunggu akan kelahiran parti baharu – Gerakan Harapan Baharu – yang dirancang diumumkan selepas hari raya ini.

Ini menunjukkan sebuah parti baharu yang mampu memberikan harapan masa depan kepada rakyat Malaysia sangat diharapkan. Iaitu ketika rakyat melihat dengan sangat bimbang pelbagai krisis yang menimpa negara yang tidak dapat diselesaikan oleh parti pemerintah, di tengah-tengah Pakatan Rakyat (PR) sendiri juga tidak habis-habisnya berkrisis.

Parti Gerakan Harapan Baharu ini dirancang penubuhannya oleh golongan progresif dan sederhana yang disingkirkan dengan penuh hina dalam muktamar PAS bulan Jun lalu.

Penubuhan parti ini juga untuk meneruskan legasi perjuangan Allahyarham Datuk Fadzil Mohd Noor dan Allahyarham Tuan Guru Nik Abd Aziz Nik Mat yang sangat terbuka dan demokratik serta berpandangan jauh ke depan. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP “egosentrik”? Benarkah begitu wahai anak muda?

oleh WAN HAMIDI HAMID
Roketkini
3 Julai 2015

Sekalung tahniah untuk sekumpulan 146 aktivis politik yang menggelar diri sebagai Anak Muda atas keberanian menyuarakan keinginan mereka kepada sebuah kerajaan alternatif.

Pada masa yang sama, mungkin kerana salah faham atau kurang maklumat, ada yang membuat generalisasi bahawa “Anak muda berasa mual melihat parti-parti yang kononnya berpakat, tetapi gagal mengurus egosentrik lantas memberi talian hayat kepada Kerajaan minoriti Barisan Nasional”.

Sebenarnya ayat lazim seperti ini tidak akan membantu kepada penyelesaian masalah. “Mual”, “egosentrik”, “talian hayat” kepada musuh politik adalah antara kata-kata yang penuh dengan pelbagai telahan negatif.

Tuduhan seperti itu sama seperti sikap seorang guru sekolah yang menyangka dirinya adil dengan menghukum kedua-dua pembuli dan mangsa yang dibuli tanpa sebarang siasatan. Read the rest of this entry »

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IKRAM Iltizam Cakna Perkembangan Politik Semasa

Ustaz Haji Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus
Timbalan Presiden
Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia
1.7.2015

Mengikuti perkembangan politik dan pembangunan semasa negara, Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (IKRAM) sebagai sebuah pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang prihatin dan cakna kepada keadilan sejagat, keharmonian masyarakat dan kesatuan umat selaras dengan perjuangan IKRAM untuk memastikan ‘Malaysia Menuju Negara Rahmah’, ingin menegaskan pendirian-pendirian berikut untuk kebaikan bersama warga Malaysia:

IKRAM meyakini bahawa sistem pemerintahan berteraskan konsep dwiparti merupakan satu keperluan demi memastikan proses tatakelola kerajaan yang baik berteraskan akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan proses semak dan imbang sentiasa menepati prinsip-prinsip ‘Siyasah Syar’iyyah’ (politik berinspirasikan Syariah).

IKRAM yang bergerak atas dasar prinsip menyuruh yang makruf mencegah yang mungkar (amar makruf nahi munkar) akan terus menjadi kumpulan pendesak dan pengimbang kepada semua pihak samada daripada pihak pemerintah atau pembangkang, agensi kerajaan atau swasta terutamanya yang melibatkan organisasi yang mengendalikan amanah kepentingan awam dan yang melibatkan penyalahgunaan kuasa pentadbiran, ketirisan dalam penggunaan wang awam dan seumpamanya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prospects for coalition making, post-muktamar

By Steven Sim
Malaysiakini
Jun 23, 2015

MP SPEAKS Two months ago, Lim Kit Siang proposed a crazy idea; a post-BN post-Pakatan Rakyat “Save Malaysia” grand coalition. Many criticised him, including allies and supporters and even DAP members.

Lim, the DAP parliamentary leader, was inviting Malaysians, including Malaysian politicians, to “think the unthinkable”, going beyond the much cherished two-party system into something else.

What does this “something else” look like?

I was to discover part of the answer when I joined Lim on a trip to the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »

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The demonisation of secularism

Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
17 June 2015

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude (dare to know)! Have courage to use your own understanding! (Immanuel Kant)

The discussion on secularism in this country is a problematic one, chiefly because the term has become trapped in the narrow framework of identity politics dominated by the hegemony of ethno-religious nationalist discourse. As a result, secularism is now an emotive expression invoked as a label to paint its targets as anti-religion. In the Malaysian context, that always means anti-Islam.

Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development (Jakim), the foremost religious authority in our country, for example, has issued warnings against conspiracies by “enemies of Islam” to manipulate them through ideas like secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism and positivism. In May last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, added “human rightism” to the list of offending ideologies that threaten the faith of Muslims.

Why has secularism come to be so demonised? Read the rest of this entry »

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What my proposal for a post-BN, post-PR “Save Malaysia” grand coalition is and is not

As my proposal for a post-BN, post-PR “Save Malaysia” grand coalition continues to be the subject of controversy and misunderstanding, deliberate or otherwise, let me clarify what the proposal “is” and “is not”, and the background for such a proposal.

Firstly, I had said that the proposal for a post-BN, post-PR “Save Malaysia” grand coalition is based on the premise that the two existing political coalitions in the country, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, have lost all public trust, credibility and legitimacy, in which case, Malaysians must think the unthinkable and move beyond the present political scenario dominated by two political coalitions in a post-BN, post-PR phase of Malaysian politics.

We need not tarry here as to why and how the two political coalitions, BN and PR, could lose all public trust, credibility and legitimacy.

Clearly, if anyone of the two political coalitions, BN or PR, can continue to command public trust, credibility, legitimacy and support of Malaysians, then we have not arrived at the post-BN, post-PR phase of Malaysian politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians should seriously consider the possibility of a new political configuration to “Save Malaysia” which is post-BN and post-PR, based on principles and national interests and not opportunism or self-interests

More than two months ago have passed since I first broached the idea of a new political alignment in the country to form a new coalition Federal Government which is post-BN and post-PR with a new Prime Minister to “Save Malaysia” to resolve the debilitating multiple political, economic, educational, social and nation-building crisis plaguing the country.

Since mid-March, the crisis in both political coalitions, UMNO/Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat have worsened with no light at the end of the tunnel.

The war between the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the former longest-serving Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, whether directly or through proxies, has reached a new pitch.

Today, I read of a new NGO threatening to sue Mahathir for RM100 billion losses as a result of the numerous financial scandals during Mahathir’s 22-year premiership from 1981 to 2003. Read the rest of this entry »

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With old guards bowing out, how will Barisan and Pakatan change?

BY ANISAH SHUKRY
The Malaysian Insider
17 February 2015

Old guards in Malaysia’s political parties are slowly leaving the scene paving the way for younger leaders to come forward, but between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the pace of rejuvenation differs vastly.

Both sides have hugely respected and influential stalwarts but the number has dwindled down to one each – in BN, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is the sole veteran still in active politics as Gua Musang MP and in PR, Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang is still DAP adviser.

In PR, there is potential now for younger leaders to rise and develop even more responsibilities with the passing of PAS’s Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and DAP’s Karpal Singh, as well as the incarceration of PKR de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In BN, party’s top posts are filled with second-generation leaders, such as Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Umno president and prime minister, and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, an Umno vice-president and defence minister.

But the crucial difference between the two coalitions was that with BN, the party’s rejuvenation process seems to have come to an abrupt stop with Najib’s generation, while in PR, younger leaders continue to join the coalition and rise up the ranks, analysts said. Read the rest of this entry »

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We won’t forget how CM labelled a holy pig

By TK Chua
Malaysiakini
Dec 20, 2014

Only in this country could a small group of extremists label a chief minister of a state a holy pig and “kurang ajar” and get away with it. Only in this country would a chief minister making a statement based on his legal interpretation be considered as encroachment into the rights of others. When are these extremists going to grow up?

Whatever Lim Guan Eng had said or did not say, we should all debate decently and if possible allow the due process to determine whether he has infringed any law in the country.

But this is not the case. Everyone in the country knows that the extremists are bullying others with raw power and brutal force. They know non-Muslims and non-Malays are the minority and powerless to retaliate. In fact, have you seen non-Malays resorting to trigger-happy demonstrations like this group of extremists in Penang? Since Pakatan took over the helm of the state government, may I know how many demonstrations have been staged by them?

Don’t forget that the tactic used was most uncouth and depraved. We have not forgotten the cake in the shape of faeces that was presented to the chief minister. We have not forgotten the photograph of the chief minister put up as if it was for his funeral. We have not forgotten there was once a challenge to “fist fight” with the chief minister.

We have not forgotten the aggressive storming of the state government office building. We have not forgotten the intrusion into the state assembly building. Now, surely we will not forget how the chief minister of the state was labelled as a holy pig, a wild boar, et cetera. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let the Global Terrorism Index 2014 be a wake-up call to all political parties, NGOs and Malaysians that we jeopardize the future of Malaysians if we do not check the rhetoric and politics of hatred, intolerance and extremism and hew closely to the path of moderation

Malaysia has climbed 42 places in an international terrorism indicator that has cited religious extremism as the primary cause of terror attacks worldwide.
In the 2014 edition of the Global Terrorism Index produced by the Institute of Economic and Peace, Malaysia is now 48th in a ranking that has Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan at the top, having risen from 91st spot in the 2012 issue of the report.

Malaysia’s score on the index measuring the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities and casualties as well as damage to property has also risen steadily from 2012, going from 0.415 out of a possible 10 to the current 3.04. Ten signifies the highest impact of terrorism.

Regionally, the Philippines, (9th/7.29), Thailand (10th/7.19) and Indonesia (31st/4.67) scored worse than Malaysia. Singapore was 124th, with a score of zero, indicating no negative effects from terrorism.

The Global Terrorism Index 2014 is bad news for Malaysia, for overnight, Malaysia has shot into the international radar of the top 50 countries under the world’s terrorism-watch, having overtaken 43 countries in a matter of two years as a country where terrorism is a bigger problem – overtaking countries like Uganda, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, France, Chile, Italy, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Tajikistan, Spain, Jordan, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Serbia.

What has gone wrong as Malaysia has always prided itself as a model for the world for inter-racial and inter-religious understanding, tolerance and harmony that we are now in the top 50 countries in the world in the Global Terrorism Index on the negative impact of terrorism, when Malaysia should be one of the countries with score of zero, indicating no negative effects from terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Malaysia have a Jokowi?

By Maria Chin Abdullah
Malaysiakini
Oct 29, 2014

As politics unfold in Indonesia, many are impressed with their responses towards democracy building. On Oct 20, Indonesians witnessed a peaceful transfer of power with the inauguration of the seventh president of Indonesia.

Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, had defeated Prabowo Subianto by 6.3 percent in the presidential election on July 9, 2014. While Prabowo had initially submitted an election petition to challenge the results, he had gracefully accepted the court’s ruling when it rejected all his complaints. This sealed the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla team’s presidential victory in the eyes of the law and the voters.

Indeed, President Jokowi’s beginnings have been anything but impressive in his quest to eradicate corruption and build a clean government.

President Joko Widodo had announced his cabinet and he had strategically submitted his ministerial cabinet lineup to the Corruption Eradication Commission for their screening as a show of his commitment to “form a clean government”.

On Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 the commission had deemed eight of his cabinet selection as inappropriate due to their “alleged involvement in cases of graft and human rights violations.” (The Jakarta Post, Oct 22, 2014). Read the rest of this entry »

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No end to history?

by Narayan Ramachandran
Pragati
October 13, 2014

While liberal democracy may be the least imperfect system yet known to man, it is not very clear whether mankind will pursue this desirable destination without long and costly detours.

Twenty-two years ago, American political scientist and author, Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama wrote a treatise on western liberal democracy called The End of History and The Last Man. Fukuyama wrote with authority and confidence and argued that the dominance of western liberal democracy may well signal the arrival of a ‘final’ type of government – an end to the historical evolution of political systems.

Fukuyama claimed to have been inspired by Alexendre Kojeve, a Russian-French philosopher of Hegelian persuasion – who coined the term the “End of History”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Of prostitutes, peace and chivalry

Dyana Sofya
Mail Mail Online
OCTOBER 20, 2014

Dyana Sofya suffers from dysania and is using her superpowers to pen down her thoughts late into the night. Political Secretary to Lim Kit Siang by day and she tweets from @dyanasmd.

OCTOBER 20 — It is an interesting exercise to browse through the many comments on my Facebook fan page. Reading through them recently, I began to notice a pattern. Generally, there are three types of comments: positive, negative and commiserative.

The positive comments mostly take the form of motivating words of encouragement. These are my favourite, and I am eternally grateful for the constant show of support from Malaysians of all walks of life. They have never failed to fuel me with positive energy or pick me up when I feel down.

As for the negative comments, they are as colourful as one would expect them to be. From the usual name-calling, gender stereotyping to all kinds of discriminating attacks, I have learned to accept them as part and parcel of public life. In fact, I sometimes find it entertaining, as it takes a special breed of people to be able to be so shallow and perverse.

However, there is one more type of comment that has become a constant feature in almost every thread. I find these quite puzzling. Somehow, there seems to be quite a few people out there who find it necessary to convey their pity or sympathy because they feel I am being “used.” Often, they would also predict that I would one day “wake up” and realise that I am in the wrong struggle, and that I would eventually “return” to the true path. Read the rest of this entry »

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Second coming of the woman politician

Scott Ng | October 18, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia has a new class of women leaders, and it’s time to take notice

COMMENT

Aung San Suu Kyi. Angela Merkel. Hillary Clinton. Margaret Thatcher. Dilma Rousseff. Gro Harlem Brundtland. Indira Gandhi. The last generation saw the beginning of the rise of women to prominent roles in government, sometimes to the pinnacle of their countries’ political structures.

But Asia has had the largest number of female chief executives in the world. Take Chandrika Kumaranatunga of Sri Lanka, for example. Her mother was the world’s first female Prime Minister, and she herself ascended to the role in 1994. Or Park Geun-Hye, who won South Korea’s latest presidential elections. Or former Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra.

Malaysia finds itself with approximately 10% women representation in Parliament, just a few notches above Myanmar’s miniscule 6%. This is below the global average, and is not representative of the fact that women compose half of the entire human race, let alone the Malaysian population.
However, on the opposition side of the floor, we’re starting to see equity between the sexes with almost 30% of Pakatan Rakyat’s members of Parliament being women. And what women they are.

In the past, the torch for Malaysia’s female politicians was carried by Rafidah Aziz, former Minister of International Trade and Industry. A common sentiment was that if Rafidah had been a man, she would have long ago been a candidate for the illustrious post of Prime Minister. To a lesser extent, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, was also a torch bearer for women politicians.

And then the political tsunami of 2008 happened and installed into power a new class of female politicians—young, driven by issues, passionate, intelligent, and most importantly, captivating. Nurul Izzah Anwar and Hannah Yeoh spearheaded this new movement, and they were joined a few years later by firecrackers like Dyana Sofya and Yeoh Bee Yin. These ladies have captured the imagination of the nation, speaking out strongly on the issues that matter not only to the youth, but the masses, powered by constant interactions with the communities they serve. Read the rest of this entry »

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Propagandist I am not!

Stephen Ng
Malaysiakini
Jun 6, 2014

COMMENT Some call me a propagandist. Others call me an apologist.

I won’t be surprised that I am also one of those in Utusan Malaysia’s wildest dream – a member of the elite Red Bean Army, except that I do not know how many millions of ringgit I am paid by the DAP for my work. Not even a plate of char koay teow for all you know!

When I wrote my two sen worth of an article about the Teluk Intan by-election, another fallen angel currently living in the comfort of the West, and an armchair critic, even called me a ‘party spin doctor’ by merely assuming that I am with the DAP. Ask the DAP if I am even on their membership roll!

I do not need to envy Anwar Ibrahim now, because even for all the efforts that I put in as an individual to fight against the ‘fitnah’ crafters in this country, I have even earned myself the label of being a ‘racist’.

For someone who always says, “Race is only skin deep”, I wonder why some people can even call me a racist. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Leaders’ First World Education, Third World Mentality

Review of Syed Husin Ali’s Memoirs of a Political Struggle.
by M. Bakri Musa

Syed Husin Ali: Memoirs of a Political Struggle. Strategic Information and Research Development Center, Petaling Jaya, 2013. 273 pp.

The deserved universal condemnation and merciless ridicule of the Malaysian authorities’ bungling of the MH370 tragedy did not arise in a vacuum. From leaders’ refusing to entertain questions at their press briefings to radar operators ignoring intruding beeps on their screens, this unconcealed contempt for the public, and the accompanying lackadaisical attitude, is the norm.

Our leaders may have had First World education, alas their mentality remains stubbornly stuck in Third World mode. Their bebalism and tidak apaism make the Jamaican “It’s not my job, mon!” a valid excuse by contrast.

To readers of on-line news portals, I am not stating anything new here; likewise to ordinary citizens who have had to deal with governmental agencies. However, when these general inadequacies and gross incompetence in their infinite manifestations are put in print as in books, there is satisfaction, at least to their authors, that they are being documented for posterity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teachers’ right to support political party of their choice, say teachers, NGOs

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
4 June 2014

Teachers should not be compelled to only support Barisan Nasional as they have the right to support any political party of their choice, educationists said today.

“Teachers are just like any other citizen in the country. And like other professionals, they have political opinions too,” said Hashim Adnan, president of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), in response to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s call to teachers to return to politics under BN’s fold.

“They should be given freedom to exercise their rights,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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