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Education Minister Has No Power To Act Against Officers - Muhyiddin

Last update: 25/09/2010
MUAR, Sept 25 (Bernama) -- Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today the Education Minister has no executive power to take disciplinary action against officers who are on a permanent government employment such as school principals.

The deputy prime minister also challenged DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang to prove that the minister had the power to take such action.

"He should try to understand or learn about administration and management procedures," he told reporters after launching the Pagoh education excellence campaign on Saturday.

Muhyiddin was commenting on claims by Lim that he (Muhyiddin) did not exercise his power to take action against a principle in a school in Kulaijaya and a teacher in Bukit Selambau who were accused of uttering racist remarks against their students.

Muhyiddin said that any disciplinary action against government officers should be taken based on existing rules and regulations.

All allegations should be investigated thoroughly and the accused be given opportunities to defend themselves, he said, adding that the committee set up to investigate the matter, headed by the Education Ministry's deputy secretary-general, had completed their investigations.

He said the Chief Secretary to the Government had the powers to take action against the principal and the teacher.

"I cannot act indiscriminately based on the political demand by the DAP or other parties. This matter involves government procedures and we have regulations to deal with it," he said.

Muhyiddin said that the approach he took in dealing with the issue was in stark contrast with the emotional way Lim dealt with it.

"Kit Siang doesn't understand and he has never been a government officer. He is 100 per cent politician," he said, saying the opposition leader only wanted to gain political mileage by harping on the issue.