Manogaran: Allow Orang Asli to vote who they want

Pakatan Harapan’s M Manogaran says civil servants are free to back any political party, as long as it does not disrupt their official responsibilities.

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Cameron Highlands by-election wants all Malaysians, including the Orang Asli, to be allowed to vote freely.

“They can vote for anybody they want, but we must give them the freedom to vote, that is my wish.

“The same goes with civil servants. They can pick any party they wish as long as it does not disrupt their official responsibilities. It should not be a problem,” DAP’s M Manogaran told reporters at the Pos Menson Orang Asli settlement here today.

He was referring to the “threat” by a senator that the tok batins, or Orang Asli village chiefs, in Cameron Highlands could lose their salaries and posts if they did not support the federal government.

Bob Manolan, of PKR, was also quoted as saying the tok batins were paid by the federal government and must, therefore, support PH.

Manogaran said there had been recommendations from the PH government that the Orang Asli salaries will be paid without restrictions.

“They can receive salaries from the federal government and can commit to any political party,” he said.

Asked if civil servants should be restricted from taking up party posts, he said this should not be a problem.

Meanwhile, a deputy minister, who asked not to be named, clarified that according to a circular, those who held senior positions in the civil service were not allowed to take up political posts.

“In this matter, the tok batins do not fall under that category,” the deputy minister said.