MALAYSIA - Disciplinary action was taken against nine civil servants for being involved in political activities without relevant permission since 2010.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said however no civil servant was ever fired because of their participation in politics.
"The nine government servants were subjected to disciplinary action because they breached Regulation 21 of the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.
"This regulation requires them to apply for permission from their head of department before being actively involved in politics," he said when replying to a question from Idris Ahmad (PAS - Bukit Gantang) during question time.
Idris had asked the minister to state the number of civil servants who have been terminated from service and faced disciplinary action due to their involvement in political activities.
Shahidan said civil servants who want to be involved in politics are subjected to Regulation 21(2) of the rules which states that an officer may stand for election or be appointed to any post in a political party after obtaining written approval from the Public Service Department Director General or Secretary General of the appropriate ministry.
An officer who has been accepted as an ordinary member of any political party must also inform his Head of Department under Regulation 21(6).
Shahidan said as of Aug 1, 2010, the Government agreed that officers under grade DG 41 to DG 48 serving in educational institutions, except for principals and headmasters, may contest or hold posts in political parties if they have prior written permission from the Education Ministry's secretary-general.
To a supplementary question by Normala Abd Samad (BN - Pasir Gudang) who asked the penalty for civil servants who disclosed government secrets to irresponsible parties, Shahidan said civil servants were still subjected to legislation like the Official Secrets Act and will be punished under the respective laws.