Enough laws for protection of whistleblowers, says MACC

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said today the country has enough laws to protect whistleblowers when they report wrongdoings. However, MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad said public awareness on informants’ protection is still lacking and the anti-graft authority needs to buck up in explaining to the public about the laws.

“We have to convince the informants that the information they are giving and their identities are protected,” he said in response to the low number of civil servants reporting corrupt practices in the workplace. It was reported that only 214 out of 1.6 million public servants have lodged reports on alleged corruption to MACC since 2011.

However, in an immediate reaction, Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel disagreed with Dzulkifli, saying the culture of reporting wrongdoings is discouraging and risky. “We have seen whistleblowers harassed and arrested. “No amount of incentives will work as they do not have real protection.”

She added that her anti-corruption NGO had been pushing for amendments to Section 6 of the Whistleblower Protection Act to allow informants to go to their MPs, besides the usual authorities, to enjoy protection. “The informants must be appreciated and not run down and derided,” Cynthia said.