: Teachers are not prevented from participating actively in politics, but they have to obtain prior approval from their department head to do so, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said today.
He said the ministry did not stop teachers .from joining any political parties on the condition that they complied with a circular issued by the ministry.
"Based on the circular, teachers or Graduate Education Service Officers (PPPS) Grade DG41 to DG48 cain join politics, while for those in Grade 52 and above, they are required to obtain approval from their department head first.
"We have regulations, but to abide by or not to the regulations is up to the individuals concerned," he told reporters after closing the Koperasi Guru-Guru Melayu Malaysia Barat Berhad (KGMMB) triennial delegates conference here today.
He was asked to comment on a statement by UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengu Adnan Tengku Mansor, who urged teachers to join UMNO.
Also present were KGMMB president Datuk Mohamed Sabri and Kedah Education director Datuk Azuyah Hassan.
In another development, Mahdzir said he would bring up to the ministry the issue on haj leave of 40 days to 50 days for teachers going on haj pilgrimage.
"It is a good suggestion, but only for teachers going for the haj pilgrimage for the first time," he said.