Party and government are not the same
I refer to “Not compulsory for teachers to attend
The directive from the State Education Department not to compel teachers to attend official functions organized by the state government may be a good idea as many such functions are a waste of precious time of the teachers. We are well aware that too often teachers are taken away from their classrooms to attend functions that are not relevant to the duties. Such valuable time could be betters spent in the classrooms with their students.
However the decision to grant such an option to teachers because the state is no more under the BN government clearly lacks professionalism and an understanding of the principle of our democratic system. It is important to remember that the teachers as civil servants are to serve the public and the government, regardless of the party that forms it. The government is duly elected by the people and legitimately sworn in accordance with the laws of the state. Therefore civil servants are to respect and take orders that are legitimate from the officials of the state government regardless of the political party that forms it. Civil servants themselves should be non-partisan and be loyal to the government of the day.
After being subjected to fifty years of rule by a single party it may be difficult to accept a sudden change in the administration, and the emergence of ‘Little Napoleons’, who are reluctant to adopt the new changes, will be inevitable. The new administration that takes over should be patient and try to win over the trust and confidence of the staff before it embarks on radical changes especially controversial ones. They should walk the talk and the changes they undertake should be seen to benefit the people in general and not as a means to run down the previous administration. If treaded with care and caution, ultimately it would be possible to change the mindset of the civil servants and develop a clear partition between political party and the government.
The people have spoken and their verdict must be accepted by all, including the civil servants. They must change to adapt to working with the new government which is elected by none other than the people themselves. Those refuse to work with the new government must make way for others who can.
Politicians come and go but the government with its various ministries and departments should remain non-partisan, committed to serve in accordance with the laws of the state irrespective of which party rules it. In the final outcome the system that is in place should benefit not the party or the government but the rakyat who are the real masters.