Let civil servants vote how they want, urges Kasthuri Patto

DAP’s Kasthuri Patto (centre, in white) and Pakatan Harapan party members meeting a group of Fire and Rescue Department personnel in Batu Kawan recently.

PETALING JAYA: The Barisan Nasional (BN) government has no right to coerce, intimidate or blackmail the 1.6 million civil servants in the country over their support for the opposition and how they wish to vote in the upcoming polls, DAP’s Kasthuri Patto said today.

Referring to circulars allegedly issued to government staff, she said one of the warnings was that show cause letters will be sent to civil servants who have been seen displaying any form of support for the opposition and against the BN government.

“Prime Minister Najib Razak and the Election Commission must give civil servants voting in the 14th general election an assurance that they are free to cast their ballot any way they like, even if it is for Pakatan Harapan, without making subtle threats on their employment.

“In April 2017, Najib told a gathering of civil servants in Melaka that they had taken their oaths as civil servants to support the government elected by the people.

“Loyalty is an admirable trait, but it appears that the Najib administration is arm-twisting civil servants in the country with subtle threats,” Kasthuri Patto said in a statement today.

She added that there appears to be restrictions placed on civil servants on what they do outside of their jobs.

“These include attending opposition ceramahs, forums, talks or even peaceful assemblies organised by civil society groups; and sharing information on social media on matters deemed to put the BN government in a bad light.

“If BN has such a clean record, as they claim themselves to be, then why the subtle reminders on loyalty and that civil servants must vote BN to show obedience and a forced sensed of patriotism against their own will?”

She called for the Najib administration to “come clean” and tell civil servants they are free to vote anyone of their choice, attend opposition ceramahs and rallies, and speak up against any abuse of power or corruption, without having to risk losing their jobs.

“Let civil servants vote how they want on May 9.”

Kasthuri faces three other candidates — from PAS, BN and Penang Front Party (PFP) — in Batu Kawan.

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