have right to reject Akujanji document: varsity body
3:54pm Tue Mar 12th, 2002
Malaya Staff Association today said academics have the right
to reject the Akujanji (loyalty pledge) document imposed on
chairperson Rosli H Mamat said as long as the nature of the
document was not explained in detail, the association cannot
guarantee that academics will adhere to the requirements of
association is also asking that the circular from the Public
Services Department requiring academics to sign the document
be withdrawn and rewritten, taking into account issues which
had violated basic human rights, academic freedom and workers’
demand that the exercise of signing the loyalty pledge be
postponed until further studies have been done on the issue,”
Rosli said in a press statement today.
said the pledge makes it an offence for any academic staff
to comment on government policies (whether favourably or critically)
without ministerial permission, as such it becomes a prevalent
threat to all academics.
Akujanji is, therefore, an affront to academic freedom. In
principle it is repulsive and in practical terms it is unnecessary
as the laws it refers to are already in force,” he added.
academics, this would mean that we would be prevented from
doing our work properly. How can there be a gag on governmental
criticism in the academic world if subjects such as economics,
social sciences and law are to be effectively taught?” he
said the document could also be interpreted as taking away
academics’ rights for seeking help from bodies such as the
courts and Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).
added that the document was “an insult” to hardworking academics
as it questions one’s integrity and is forcing a class of
people to put their names down on a document that says they
agree to laws and rules that work against them and their profession.
Public Services Department had issued a circular to the university
in December last year asking the academics to sign the document
by the end of this month.
said academics were upset with several reports in the media
accusing them of being disloyal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,
country and government for questioning the document.
the nine-point document was meant to pledge loyalty to those
three entities, Rosli said, the academics would definitely
the issue of loyalty is only one-ninth of the entire Akujanji
document. What we are questioning are issues which are against
academic freedom, workers’ rights and rights as a citizen
of this country,” said Rosli.
said the association had made efforts to clarify the issues
in the document but failed to get a satisfactory answer.
questions put forward officially by the association have not
been answered accurately,” he added.
document is said to be just a reminder but it appears to be
more like an agreement. What is the point of signing this
document?” he queried.
said the association was upset that its views, which were
raised in October last year, were not entertained by the relevant
knew all along that the document will be a problem to us,”
in Parliament today, Parliamentary Secretary of the Prime
Minister’s Department Khamsiyah Yeop said the government was
not aware of any group that was reluctant to sign the document.
said the ministry was satisfied with the acceptance of the
document by the country’s civil servants, which number around
was answering a question posed by Goh Siow Huat (Rasah-BN)
who wanted to know whether there are government officers who
are reluctant to sign the document.
a question by the same MP on how the government planned to
enforce the document after it has been signed, Khamsiyah said
the situation will be monitored very closely.
said those who did not adhere to the requirements of the document
will be penalised accordingly.
will first be given a warning, a fine, followed by stripping
of monetary benefits such as allowances. They may also be
demoted and eventually asked to leave the service,” she warned.