LABUAN: Labuan PKR Chief Simsudin Hj Sidek yesterday criticized the decision made by the Islamic Department of Federal Territory (JAWI) to terminate the contract of a teacher at Sekolah Rendah Agama Islam Rancha-Rancha here.
He asserted that such action showed Umno leaders here were desperate to retain their power and willing to use whatever they could think of to pursue their intention.
The teacher, Qatrun Nada Latfi, a graduate and former student leader at Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Labuan International Campus (UMS-KAL) was teaching at the school since last year.
She received a notice from Labuan JAWI on October 24 to terminate her contract effective December 1 allegedly after she was found attending a public talk by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on September 15 here.
The notice she received did not state any obvious details and reasons for the action.
“What else you can expect from democracy if a thing like this can happen? For them, democracy is you must support them without questions asked. It is clear now with so many proofs of their desperate actions.
“They tried to stop our programme when we wanted to set up our branch at Kampung Sungai Labu here, and they cancelled our booking to use the Foo Chow Hall for the public talk by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after we had made a full payment,?he claimed.
“These are among the proofs that democracy for them is to support them and nothing else,” Simsudin said.
hat is wrong for anyone to attend a speech or a public talk organised by any political party.
“When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak came here, we also came to listen to his speech, but our senior opposition leaders did not penalise us for doing so.
“What is wrong if you let anybody come to listen to any political talk and let them judge for themselves?
“This era is not a time to force anyone to support you. I feel sad and disappointed that a thing like this can happen and what is worse is it involved JAWI, which is related to religious affairs,” he said.
Simsudin commented that JAWI was supposedly free from any political party influence, likewise the rest of the government departments.
He urged the government led by Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) to be responsible towards the victimised teacher’s fate if they are sincere in their administration.
“I appeal to the people, especially here on this island to open their eyes on this matter. Today, this thing has happened to someone’s child and it is not impossible that your children may receive the same fate like her.
On November 29, members of Labuan PAS Youth and an NGO called Solidariti Anak Muda Sabah (Labuan) held a protest at Labuan town and then headed to Labuan JAWI at Financial Park to hand over their memorandum to the department.
On the same day, Labuan PAS information chief Hadnan Hj Mohamad, when contacted, said that they had contacted their lawyer to bring Qatrun’s case to court as she had the right to defend herself.
“We want to give her moral support and we will help anyone in need, especially those who are being treated unjustly,” he said. (BP)