July 7, 2011
Civil Servants Warned: NO to BERSIH2.0 Rally
Faced with mounting pressure that a rally will be held this weekend, the Public Services Department (PSD) has issued a circular barring civil servants from participating in an illegal assembly or any movement which may hurt the security of the nation.
The letter dated June 30 and signed by the PSD director-general, Abu Bakar Abdullah, did not name which rally. Three are planned for this weekend, organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0), PERKASA and UMNO Youth.
Abu Bakar, in the three-page letter addressed to all ministry secretaries-general, all federal department heads and state secretaries, reminded civil servants not to become actively involved in any movement or gathering by any parties, attend them during office hours or use office equipment to distribute materials for an illegal gathering.
The PSD director-general reminded civil servants to protect the principles of neutrality and impartiality in the public service, to ensure the service rendered is stable, neutral and does not support any movement, inclinations or political parties.
He went on to cite various regulations under the Civil Servant Officers Standing Orders 1993 under which actions could be taken.
Education Ministry circular is more blunt
However, an Education Ministry circular similarly dated June 30, signed by the Director-General Abd Ghafar Mahmud, was more blunt in specifically stating the electoral reform group Coalition of Free and Fair Elections BERSIH 2.0.
The letter was addressed to all Education Ministry division directors, state education department directors, Teachers Training Institute directors and Matriculation Colleges directors.
“The Police have classified this as an illegal assembly and would lead to riots, demonstrations and internal conflict. It is stated that the gathering may upset the security and stability of the nation,” Abdul Ghafar said.
“All officers and staff under the Education Ministry and students in learning institutions are prohibited from attending or participating in the rally by the illegal organisation BERSIH on any day or events organised by them,” he said.
Abdul Ghafar said the directive is to help officers, staff and students avoid any action by the authorities.
The Education Ministry Director-General had forwarded copies of the letter to the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, his deputies Wee Ka Siong, and Puad Zarkashi, the Secretary-General of the ministry, Deputy Secretary-General, Deputy Director-General, heads of various division of the ministry, the Legal Advisor and the public relations department.
Ambiga meets Top Cops at Bukit Aman
With less than 48 hours to the July 9 rally, BERSIH2.0 chairperson Dato’ S. Ambiga is leading a four-member delegation to meet with top Police Officers at the Federal Police Headquarters in Bukit Aman at 2pm today.
Ambiga, BERSIH steering committee members Wong Chin Huat and Haris Ibrahim and national laureate Dato’ A Samad Said entered the Police HQ at around 2pm.
According to Wong, the meeting was arranged after they made a former request to the police for the meeting. Speaking to reporters before going in, Wong said they will be informing the Police officially about the rally BERSIH is holding this Saturday.