Adjournment speech by DAP Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, in the Dewan Ra’kyat on 17 August 1972.
Application by a teacher for permission to take part in DAP politics
I rise today to bring up the matter of the application by a teacher at Kuala Kangsar Clifford Primary School in Perak, Mr. P.Patto, to take part in politics. Mr. Patto is a member of the DAP and would like to take active part in the activities of the Party.
Mr.Patto had on five separate occasions written for permission, but had not been able to get any answer. The five separate occasions were January 19,1971; February 23, 1971; March 18, 1971; March 24, 1972 and July17, 1972.
There are over a thousand teachers who have been given permission by the Ministry of Education to take active part in Alliance politics. From a question which I had asked the Hon’ble the Minister of Education in last December’s session of Parliament, I was told that there are 799 teachers who were given permission to take active part in UMNO politics, 210 teachers to take active part in MCA politics, 82 teachers in MIC. The figures for other oppositions parties are as follows: Parti Islam – 19; Parti Rakyat – 10; Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia – 5; DAP – 3 and PPP – 1.
I do not understand why, therefore, when over a thousand teachers have been given permission to take active part in Alliance politics, Mr. Patto should still be waiting for an answer since his first application 18 months ago.
It is important that the Ministry of Education should be fair in giving permission to teachers to take part in politics. It should not adopt a double standard where it allows large scale of teacher participation in Alliance politics, while on the other hand, forbid or make it very difficult for a teacher to get permission to take active part in politics through the DAP.
In this connection, I would also like an assurance from the Ministry of Education that it would not victimize teachers who are brave and courageous enough to stand up to take part in opposition politics.