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Teachers’ silence over transfer ring frustrates ministry

Kamalanathan wants teachers who paid ‘middlemen’ for transfers to their state of choice to report the matter to the ministry. — file picture
As published in The Malay Mail today
 
Teachers remain afraid of disclosing information regarding the ‘cash-for-transfer’ racket, frustrating the Education Ministry in nabbing the culprits involved.

The saga, first exposed by the Malay Mail last September, saw teachers reveal having paid up to RM8,000 to ‘middlemen’ to secure transfers to their state of choice.

Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan said the ministry spoke to teachers but were unable to obtain sufficient information.

“But when pressed for further details, teachers were afraid to reveal anything. They were afraid of facing possible problems,” said Kamalanathan.

“We just want the facts. If teachers tell us what they know, we will protect their interest.”

He urged teachers who paid ‘middlemen’ for transfers to their state of choice to report the matter to the ministry.

The Malay Mail probe revealed “middlemen” collected between RM4,000 and RM8,000 — based on the states the teachers wished to go. Transfers to hot states — mainly Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang — could balloon up to RM8,000.

Some teachers paid in instalments, only to see their transfers denied. This raised suspicion that certain unscrupulous individuals were taking advantage of the situation by duping teachers.

Following the expose, the ministry has set up a special committee to investigate the matter.

The ministry had in August last year received 2,156 complaints that included teacher placements and transfers and that they were reviewing its transfer of teacher policy.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low had later said the Government was concerned about middleman exploiting the situation and would adopt measures to curb such matters. Paul also said the Malay Mail’s expose was only the tip of the iceberg.

Kamalanathan admitted transfers to Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perlis were “difficult” given the number of teachers already based there. He said there were vacancies in Johor.

However, he encouraged teachers to submit their applications online and not to go through any party, other than the state education department, to requests for transfers.

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