Monday, September 10, 2012

Wrong to try to curb Teacher's free will and freedoms outside working hours

When a worker is working for an employer - the employer has no right to impose conditions or restrictions that affects the personal life of the worker - be it their economic, political or social cultural life. The obligation of a worker to an employer (i.e. any employer including the government) is to perform his job as required during working hours....

So, recently when members of the government said that actions will be taken against teachers who participated in this protest, that rally or that action will be taken action against - it is very very wrong, and no worker should tolerate such interference into his personal space.

A teacher is tasked to teach students and so he does governed by the subject and the required syllabus, and that is all. It is wrong for the government to even try to get teachers or other public servants to do things to promote the existing BN government or belittle the opposition.

It is 'public servants' or 'penjawat awam' - not government servants, and their duty is to the public Malaysia not any sitting government or some other. Public servants work for the good of Malaysia.... and it does not matter who wins the Elections, public servants will still continue doing the needful for the public and for Malaysia..

Now, if the employer was UMNO, a political party, then maybe this employer could require its employees to all be members of the said political party or even 'support' the said party's agenda and programme. But, again, even here there is a doubt for no worker is a 'slave' - a mindless human being who is required to also absorb and promote the interest of their employer. So if a worker is working at UMNO, decides to join activities of PAS in his free time...and maybe even become a registered member of PAS, the employer UMNO rightfully should not be able to terminate the said worker merely on those grounds for so long as they said worker performs his work during working hours as required.

The employer, including also the government, cannot dictate that their employees personal views, and even actions outside working hours. Likewise, the case with students in public or private institutions. 

Workers are free to have their own political views - and the freedom to participate in whatever political action even participating in rallies and peaceful assemblies that the police or some authority has made 'illegal'. Employers have no right to punish their workers save unless it is by reason of some misconduct at the workplace, or by reason of poor performance of the work.... 

Hence, the recent threat by some in the government that action will be taken against Teachers who attended the 'Janji Demokrasi' or past 'BERSIH" or "Himpunan Hijau' gatherings is WRONG - The BN or Pakatan government of the day must understand that their holding of political power is something of a 'temporary nature' and this right is bestowed on them once ever five years through the General Elections by the people - which also includes workers, both in the private and public sector - including teachers.

Come next elections, the BN may lose and we may have a new Opposition coalition government - but workers in the public sector, including teachers, will always continue to do the work for which they have been employed for to the best of their abilities for the public and for Malaysia. 

Do not forget that the real boss is the People of Malaysia - and it is they that ultimately decide which political party or politician will be chosen to govern the country temporarily for at least 5 years.... until the next General Elections.

Personally, if I was a teacher or a public servant, I would be most angry when some Minister, Deputy Minister, Director General or head of department, etc says or tries to tell me as a worker what I can do and not do in my private time or which political party to support/join or not... for that is clearly an infringement into my private life... and come next, election I would wisely demonstrate my displeasure though my votes...

7 Sep 2012, 05:40pm BY Sobana Damodaran
Teachers, known to have taken part in the Janji Demokrasi rally, disiplinary action will be taken against them.

According to Deputy Education Minister, Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, the ministry is in the midst of identifying the teachers involved.

The ministry has however refused to confirm the number of teachers allegedly involved in the illegal gathering.

While no reports have been lodged about school students attending the rally.- NTV 7 Website
Well, maybe we should not vote for this Deputy Minister that threatens teachers with disciplinary action for taking part in the 'Janji Demokrasi' rally...

Maybe, the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) or CUEPACS, whose membership are public sector workers, should issue a statement condemning such threats and attempts to impose 'restrictions' on personal life and personal TIME of teachers and public servants....Or maybe, they will be 'silent' as this BN government, always when it comes close to General Elections would hand out 'goodies' to workers in the public sector - more so, it is expected that the goodies this time around may be even better that before, as the chances of BN losing is even higher today. So, maybe, the smart move is to keep quite get all the goodies, and come election day express themselves through the votes they cast...

Malaysian Teachers, come next General Elections, must be brave and exercise their right to vote for the good of Malaysia....for the future good of their children, family and fellow Malaysians without fear... Acknowledge, we must that teachers and other public servants, roped in by the Election Commission as officers at polling and counting stations, end us as persons who will cast their votes as Postal Voters, i.e. have to cast their votes earlier. Noting the fear based on a wrongful belief that the government will know who they vote for, the tendency is to play 'safe' and vote for the incumbent government - but they have to be strong and do as their conscience dictates. Maybe, those teachers and persons who are registered voters should just be allowed to vote and cast their ballot papers in the places that they end up working come Voting Day - this may be better, and it certainly would help reduce the fear that the government will know... It would be better, I believe. In any event, the fear is really unjustified....but alas, some people do try to propagate it.

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