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KKM Prohibits Frontliners From Making Public Statements Without Permission & M’sians Are Not Happy

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Source: Borneo Today & Straits Times

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Yesterday (4 March) the Chief Secretary from the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a warning to all its civil servants and frontliners against making public statements about the national healthcare system without permission from the government or the Ministry.

MOH released the statement to address the recent issue of a MOH healthcare worker speaking out about the distribution of vaccines under the National Immunisation Programme (NCIP).

KENYATAAN MEDIA KEMENTERIAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA PETUGAS KESIHATAN DILARANG UNTUK MEMBUAT PERNYATAAN AWAM TANPA KEBENARAN

Posted by KEMENTERIAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

 

Consequences for public statements

“In line with the rules, every civil servant is prohibited from making statements that touch on the implementation of public programmes and government decisions without permission. Statements that are unwise and made without evaluation not only tarnishes the image of public servants but also causes public panic and ruins the credibility of civil service workers and the government.”

The ministry then clarified that the rule was made in line with the ethics and code of conduct for public sector workers when using social media and the prohibition of making public statements without permission was not to “prevent public service officers from speaking out,” but more so towards “ensuring that officers make polite responses with proper mannerisms to keep up the image and credibility of civil servants, the public sector and the government.”

They added that the Ministry views the breach of this conduct on social media very seriously and “every case that is identified as guilty of such wrongdoings will be met with disciplinary action based on rules that have been enforced.”

 

Netizens: “Leave the health service to its experts” 

However, the statement has since received backlash from members of the public and politicians alike. Many netizens took to the comments section of the post to voice their dissatisfaction with the decision.

  • “The Chief Secretary must be reminded that you’re not a doctor and you don’t run the health service. Just stick to running the planning and management aspect of the Ministry. Leave the health service to its experts.”
  • “As the bosses of frontline healthcare workers, you should take care of their welfare. Listen to their complaints instead of just following the tactics of politicians.”
  • “KKM should encourage whistleblowing practices. Make a new policy for whistleblowing. Don’t automatically shut it down.”

 

“Investigate the complaints and concerns raised by frontliners” 

Kuching MP, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen, has also come forward to address the policy. “The Federal Government and Ministry of Health should be properly investigating the complaints and concerns raised by frontliners, rather than threatening and instilling fear against the frontliners for speaking up.”

He added that he has strong concerns following MOH’s warning towards its staff as the ministry should be looking into these allegations seriously instead of going against those who are bringing up complaints.

“This is important as such allegations may concern VVIPs which may give rise to the perception that it may likely be just swept under the carpet without proper investigation.”

“The government should not just praise these frontliners and make them look like heroes in the fight against Covid-19 when it is convenient for them, but when it is not, make threats of disciplinary action against them.”

Previously, Selayang Hospital Nephrologist Dr Rafidah Abdullah said that 200 members of the Kelantan state secretary office (SUK), who have allegedly jumped the queue to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin responded and said that the matter will be investigated accordingly.

What do you guys think of this? 

 

Also read: “Get back in line!” Khairy Tells Those Who Want To Get Vaccinated Ahead of Frontliners

Source: Science Mag


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