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Youth groups and Public Service Department (PSD) scholars have expressed disappointment on the directive barring PSD scholars from openly criticising the government, highlighting that taxpayers are the ones who fund the scholarships.
PSD secretary-general Zainal Rahim Seman reportedly said it was “appropriate to revoke scholarships” of PSD scholars who criticise the government, including on social media platforms.
“The action of PSD has clearly proven that they have totally forgotten that citizens are the ones supporting the public fund (for scholarships)… people pay taxes to support it.
“Thus PSD’s intention to use money to silence or intimidate students against criticising the government is totally unacceptable,” Universiti Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) president Kon Hua En said.
Kon criticised the PSD for disregarding academic freedom and said the main purpose of scholarships was to produce critical-minded and ethical graduates, not robots.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Youth wing executive council member Mohd Ashraf Mustaqim Badrul Munir echoed Kon’s statement.
“Scholarships should not be used to birth a generation of robots among the educated ones or to silence them… instead we need to encourage scholars to think critically.
“This is a draconian threat (against scholars) and it makes an enemy of the Federal Constitution… where freedom of speech of the rakyat is enshrined,” Mohd Ashraf Mustaqim said…