If votes are secret, how can minister threaten teachers, lawyers say

Bede Hong

Lawyers say there should be no way for the government to know who civil servants are voting for unless it is getting the help of the Election Commission. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 19, 2018.

EDUCATION Minister Mahdzir Khalid’s warning to teachers and ministry officers not to support the opposition was illegal, say lawyers.

It also begs the question if Putrajaya has ways to check who civil servants voted for, which violates the principle that a person’s vote is secret, they said.

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  • Actually Mahadzir is not the first minister to imply votes are not secret. Could it be possible its not?

    Posted 3 years ago by Bigjoe Lam

    • Anyone remember Baginda? He is paid a lot of money to write statistics and likely find out who voted for who.

      Posted 3 years ago by Justin Lee

  • So it is now confirmed that this government has access to ballot boxes and who voted for whom. Worse yet, this minister threaten public servants. What is the police and EC doing about this?

    Posted 3 years ago by HC Lung

  • Power crazy!

    Posted 3 years ago by Anak Malaysia

  • Yes, EC should immediately probe Education Minister Mahdzir for an offence under Section 9 (Undue influence) of the Election Offences Act 1954, for making threats to civil servants, including teachers, that they can only support the ruling coalition, but not the opposition, and warned of serious consequences if they support the latter.
    The said Section 9 states, among others, “Every person who directly or indirectly interferes or attempts to interfere with the free exercise by any person of any electoral right shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence.”
    Mahdzir’s such threats were reported not only in Kwong Wah Daily, but also in Sin Chew Daily dated Jan 19 (the largest circulation paper in the country), where he was quoted while giving a briefing on education policies on Jan 18. No retraction of Mahdzir’s such utterances have been reported in these papers.
    Under the circumstances, the EC is duty bound to enforce the election law on the Education Minister. Such law enforcement would also lend credibility to its oft-repeated claims that it is an independent and impartial body to conduct free and fair elections, free of political influences.

    Posted 3 years ago by Kim quek

  • 500,000 votes are at stake! That is the approximate number of teachers. So by threats, intimidation, or even blackmail, the BN is trying to bag as many of those votes as possible. The minister is trying to secure his own job by threatening the teachers with the loss of their jobs if they "bite the hand that feeds them". Hello minister, the same hands that feed you also feed the teachers, i.e. those of the taxpayers. Teachers are not paid with UMNO's or BN's money, and neither are you.

    Posted 3 years ago by Ravinder Singh