Is the PSD Director-General suggesting that 85% of Malaysian Chinese voters, 65% Indian voters and 40% of Malay voters who voted against UMNO/BN in 13GE are not loyal to Yang di Pertuan Agong and country?

I am shocked at the mindset and mentality not only of the political establishment as demonstrated by the recent furore over “quinoa politics vs rice politics” and the flurry of gratuitous and baseless UMNO attacks on tycoon Robert Kuok but also of the top bureaucrats in the civil service, who seemed to have forgotten and deviated from the vital cardinal principle of non-partisanship of the civil service in politics and political matters.

I was utterly shocked when I read yesterday of the reminder by the Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Zainal Rahim Seman to 1.6 million civil servants that they should discharge their responsibilities as members of the civil service with undivided support to the government and country based on the principles of the pledge of loyalty and integrity when they first joined the service.

He said the “Aku Janji” should serve as a reminder for civil servants to always realise at all times that they should remain loyal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the government and the country as required under Regulation 4(1) of the Public officers regulations (Conduct and Discipline) 1993.

Is Zainal saying that a civil servant is violating the “Aku Janji” pledge and guilty of disloyalty to the government, country and Yang di Pertuan Agong if they vote against UMNO/BN in a general election?

In the 2013 general election, the majority of voters voted against UMNO/BN.

Is Zainal asserting that 52% of the Malaysian electorate who voted against UMNO/BN are disloyal to government, country and Yang di Pertuan Agong?

In Peninsular Malaysia in 2013 General Election, some 40% of the Malay voters, 85% of the Chinese voters and 65% of the Indian voters voted against UMNO/BN.

Were they disloyal to government, country and Yang di Pertuan Agong?

This is not the case as otherwise, why have a general election?

The vote of the 40% of the Malay voters, 85% of Chinese voters and 65% of Indian voters who rejected UMNO/BN in the 2013 General Election was a testimony of their patriotism and loyalty to the country and Yang Di Pertuan Agong, for they voted out of their love, patriotism and vision for a better Malaysia for our children and children’s children.

I will not be surprised if such shallow and stupid views come from bigoted and immature politicians but I am utterly shocked that it should come from the Director-General of the Public Service Department, who should know better and be a model of civil service probity, impartiality and non-partisanship.

A civil servant is not being disloyal to government, country and Yang di Pertuan Agong if he or she cast his or her vote against UMNO/BN, for he or she is only exercising his or her constitutional right to elect the government of the day.

In my 53 years in politics, I have never come across greater restiveness in the civil service for as citizens in the country, civil servants are also concerned about wrong turnings which the UMNO/BN leadership has taken the country – to the extent that Malaysia is now regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

As government servants, there is nothing they can do to show their rejection of Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy. The only time they can show their disagreement with Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy is during a general election, when a civil servant exercises his or her constitutional and citizenship right to vote for the candidate and political party which stands clearly and solidly against Malaysia continuing as a global kleptocracy.

I call on Zainal to clarify his statement and to state clearly and unequivocally that a civil servant is not being disloyal to government, country and Yang di Pertuan Agong if he or she votes against UMNO/BN in the next general election.

Zainal should also give an assurance that he will not compromise his duty as head of the Public Service Department to be a model of non-partisanship, especially in the next 80 days for the holding of the 14th General Election.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah