academics to ink loyalty pledge under protest
6:50pm Thu Mar 14th, 2002
days after taking a tough stand against the Akujanji or loyalty
pledge, Universiti Malaya’s academic staff today said they
will sign the agreement under protest.
have to balance economic implications and our principles.
The half-way point for this is to sign under protest,” he
said the association is also drafting a letter stating the
staff members’ objections to the implications of the Akujanji.
letter will be distributed to be signed and later be included
with the pledge documents which are due for submission to
the Public Services Department by the end of the month.
Tuesday, Rosli had decried the pledge an “affront to academic
freedom” as it made it an offence for academic staff to comment
on government policies without ministerial permission.
said a gag on government criticism would prevent academics
from doing their work properly, as it would prevent effective
teaching on subjects such as economics, social sciences and
had also called for the circular from the Public Services
Department requiring academics to sign the document to be
withdrawn and rewritten, taking into account issues which
had violated basic human rights, academic freedom and workers’
wether they had received a response, Rosli said the association
had not received any feedback from the university’s administrative
office or from the Public Service Department.
to Rosli, the UMSA also held discussions with staff associations
of Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti
Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa.
a UiTM lecturer who coordinated the discussion, Ali Dinar,
said no problems surfaced regarding the pledge in his university.
agreed to the pledge and almost all signed the document,”
he told malaysiakini.
Mass Communications lecturer added UiTM staff were satisfied
and happy with the explanation given by the vice-chancellor
with regard to their concerns.
USM and UPM, Ali Dinar said “not so much problems” have arisen
among their staff over the signing of the pledge..
he was unable to comment on the reception of the document
by academics in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti
representatives from other public universities were also unavailable
a related matter, DAP chairperson Lim Kit Siang today urged
all varsity academicians to take a united stand on their demand
for the right to reject the loyalty pledge.
said the Akujanji for civil servants and academicians raises
the question on whether the government has lost sight of “core
civil service values with selection and promotion based on
merit, political impartiality and giving the best independent
advice to government”.
pledge is even more inappropriate for public universities
as it threatens their freedom to teach, research, publish
and to speak extramurally,” he said.
veteran politician added the pledge would also threaten the
institutions’ role in the promotion and preservation of human
rights, democracy, sustainable development, justice and civil
also called on Education Minister Musa Muhammad to redraft
the Akujanji document.
should instead set up a commission to formulate a Charter
for Academic Freedom and University Autonomy to promote academic
excellence to enable a successful transition to a K-economy
and information society,” said Lim.
added this could only be achieved with the fullest dialogue
and consultation involving the government, universities, academicians,
students and civil society.
Parliamentary Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department
Khamsiyah Yeop said yesterday those who fail to adhere to
the requirements of the pledge 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.