PUTRAJAYA: The advice and comments made by Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid in his 2018 New Year message on the involvement of civil servants in party politics is in line with the General Orders of the Public Service Department (PSD), according to the education ministry.
These government servants include those working in the education ministry, the state Education Departments and district education offices. The rules also cover principals, headmasters and teachers, it said.
In a statement here today, the ministry said the advice and comments were in line with a directive dated April 6, 2009 which prohibits an officer in the top management group as well as those in managerial and professional positions from being involved in politics.
“All parties are urged to work together to stop the spread of defamatory and/or false information.
“This can create uneasiness, specifically among education staff, and affect the people’s confidence in educators,” the statement said.
It added that in his New Year message speech at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Jan 18, the education minister advised the ministry staff to avoid being involved in politics as it could affect their credibility and integrity as civil servants and encourage hatred and lies about the country’s leaders and government.
The statement said the education minister did not mention specifically who they (ministry staff) should vote for in elections.
Instead, he had stressed that they should always be professional so that the principle of neutrality and impartiality was practised in serving the people.
It said his advice and comments were misinterpreted and twisted by irresponsible people and went viral on the social media, creating uneasiness and misunderstanding among ministry staff.