by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Thursday, 29th December 1994:
If the Government allows Category A teachers to be actively involved in politics, there must be iron-clad safeguards to ensure that teachers who choose to be active in Opposition parties would not be victimised
Following a proposal by UMNO Vice President, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Rank, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed said that the Government would seriously consider the proposal allowing Category A teachers to be actively involved in, politics.
If the Government allows Category A teachers to be actively involved in politics, there must be iron-clad safeguards to ensure that teachers who choose to be active in Opposition parties would not be victimised.
Otherwise, this will be a blatant form of discrimination and a serious violation of the human rights of Ha3ysians – where teachers in Category A are only allowed to be actively involved in Barisan Nasional party politics, but not opposition politics.
It must never be forgotten that teachers whether in Category A or other groups are not paid by Barisan Nasional parties, but by the government through taxes which come from Malaysians of all political persuasions – including 48 per cent of the national electorate who rejected the Barisan Nasional in the 1990 general Elections.
The iron-clad safeguards against discrimination against Category A teachers who wish to be actively involved in Opposition party politics must include a ban on their transfer or demotion because of party political involvement – giving any such teachers who are discriminated or penalised the right to go to court to seek legal redress for violation of their fundamental right.
It is open knowledge that teachers who had found themselves in the wrong camps during power struggles in Barisan Nasional parties had been punished by being transferred at short notice to remote places.
If this could happen to teachers involved in intraparty power struggles in Barisan Nasional parties, the discrimination and persecution against teachers actively involved in opposition party politics if there are no iron-clad safeguards could be well imag4ned.
There is now a. proposal that all civil servants in Category A should be allowed to take part actively in politics, and not just teachers.
There must be similar iron-clad safeguards for Category A civil servants who wish to be actively involved in Opposition parties to protect them from discrimination and victimization.