'Whistleblowers will be protected,' says MACC chief commissioner

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has given its assurance that whistleblowers who raised the alarm on all forms of corruption practices in Malaysia will be protected by the law.

Its Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said despite the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) 2010, many individuals still have concerns about reporting such acts to the commission due to fear of facing harassment.

Azam also said various methods could be used by individuals who wish to report such cases, such as through email and letters sent to the commission headquarters as well as through messages to its officers.

"Various methods can be used such as email, sending letters and many others. (And) I assure you that we (MACC) will keep their name and identity confidential.

"Whistleblowers are also protected under the act and there's also a scheme under the act to provide remedies if any unfair actions occur against the individual for providing such information or making such complaints to MACC as a whistleblower.

"(And) there were maybe few cases previously (where the identity of whistleblowers were revealed) but in this technological era, there are fewer to zero cases of such cases where whistleblowers are harmed for lodging complaints to MACC," he said during MACC's special interview with Sarawak FM, today.

WPA came into force in 2010 with the aim of facilitating the disclosure of inappropriate conduct in both public and private sectors, to safeguard them from negative consequences and enable investigations to be conducted, among other things.

Under the Act, a whistleblower refers to any individual who makes a disclosure of improper conduct to an enforcement agency.

At the same time, Azam added that it was also rare for individuals who were offered to be involved in projects involving corruption to come forward and lodge a report, even if they refused to be part of the project.

This, he said, was because some individuals might feel burdensome with the investigation process once a report was lodged.

Following this, he urged individuals to come forward and provide information to MACC in an effort to combat corruption.

"Once they refuse, they don't want to be troubled (with the process) and it's because they know they might face repercussions.

"However, we totally understand and this is why we want to hear their story. Some projects have their own modus operandi so this is why we want some insight and from there we will analyse (the case). So do not worry and do not fear us.

"We also encourage these individuals if they want to meet the officers (directly) to discuss and provide information."

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