staff expected to protest loyalty pledge
Thu Susan Loone, Malaysiakini, 8 Feb
University staff associations throughout the country are expected
to issue a joint-statement before Chinese New Year to protest
the compulsory signing of the Aku Janji or ‘I Pledge’ loyalty
contract required by the government.
Malaya academic staff association chairperson Rosli H Mat
said today an emergency general meeting was held at the university
yesterday to discuss the matter as the pledge is seen as a
restriction on academic freedom.
said the university’s lecturers are unhappy with a clause
of the oath that states that they are required not to bring
or attempt to bring any form of outside influence or pressure
to support or advance their claim or that of other public
officers relating to the public service.
not accept this contract as a whole. It’s very general and
we could get into trouble for anything, he told malaysiakini.
meant to be just a reminder, why do we need to make such a
pledge or contract? he asked.
said it would also be difficult for academics to take action
against the university in future if they are bound by such
it is still unclear if there would be repercussions for academic
staff do not sign the document. The contract only states that
whoever breaches it is liable to disciplinary action under
the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.
all civil servants, academics have until March to sign the
nine-point document which requires them to ‘comply with orders
issued by the government from time to time throughout their
period of service’.
requires civil service members to pledge their loyalty to
the Yang Di Pertuan Agong, the country and the government.
16, Universiti Malaya senior administration staff became the
first among all public universities to sign the pledge.
vice-chancellor Prof Dr Anuar Zaini said UM was being ‘pro-active’
by signing the pledge before other public institutions of
higher learning did although the university’s staff have until
March 1 to do so.
UM officials, including the vice-chancellor, signed the pledge
at the university’s Perdanasiswa auditorium before a crowd
of 800 staff.
Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had on Oct 8 ordered all civil
servants along with teachers, university lecturers and undergraduates
to sign the pledge of loyalty and good conduct.
said the move was to check the ‘poisoning of the minds’ in
the country’s educational institutions and to ensure that
students and academics stick to their respective roles — students
to gain knowledge and not indulge in anti-government activities
while academics to perform their duties professionally.
has sparked a volley of protests from those affected including
from Cuepacs, the umbrella body for some 850,000 civil servants.