Pakatan govt to review Whistleblower Protection Act

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by ISMAIL CHE RUS

THE government plans to review the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 to encourage more people to expose unlawful activities in public and private organisations.

Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (picture) said such a move is in line with the government’s efforts to strengthen its policies.

“I believe that we need to have a stronger whistleblower act to deal with the current situation in the country.

“Whistleblowing is an effective mechanism in exposing truth if the whistleblowers feel confident of the Act and its protection. In some countries, financial incentives are awarded to encourage such action,” he said at the Public Sector Internal Audit Conference 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Mohd Radzi also said the Act has to be improved in a manner that would allow whistleblowers to be fully protected.

He added that leaders of an organisation should set the tone of freedom to emphasise on the importance of curbing corruption and other wrongdoings.

“There are a few challenges that revolve around the private and public sectors, particularly in internal audit…that needs more attention.

“Also, there are elements of power distance where superiors cannot be questioned by auditors.

“The tone has to be set by the top leaders and how they see the importance of internal audit and internal control,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Institute of Accountants CEO Dr Nurmazilah Mahzan said the initial step in reviewing the Whistleblower Protection Act is to measure its effectiveness thus far, as members of the public might not be aware of the Act.

“In reviewing the Act, there has to be a data that proves its effectiveness and how many cases that have won so far.

“We need to see how effective the Act is and how far do people understanding about it because we need them to know about the act for it to work effectively,” she said.

The Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 is a law enacted to combat corruption and wrongdoings by encouraging the exposure of improper conducts in the public and private sectors.

It was passed by Parliament in June 2010 and was brought into force on Dec 15, 2010.