From the Malaysian Insider:
Anti-graft watchdog urges Putrajaya to review whistle-blower act
The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said whistleblowers were vulnerable what with laws that "ring so hollow".
"Protection is scant. Government harassment aplenty. Personal securities compromised. And, if past records are anything to go by, the messenger gets shot at, literally, and in real time.
"The complaint gets swept under the rug, and the suspect roams free," its director Cynthia Gabriel (pic, top left) said in a statement today.
The act states that a whistleblower does not enjoy any protection if he decides to communicate his allegation of wrongdoing to a person other than a government enforcement agency.
Also, if a whistleblower or the person receiving or investigating the report discloses any information about the accused to a third party, the act is deemed an offence punishable by a fine of up to RM50,000 and imprisonment of up to 10 years.
Gabriel’s comments were directed at probes against anti-crime watcher MyWatch, whose chairman S. Sri Sanjeevan said he was being probed by the police for lifting the lid on a sex scandal involving a senior police officer.
Sanjeevan told The Malaysian Insider on July 12 that he had received a letter from the Inspector-General of Police's Secretariat (Disciplinary) dated July 8 stating he was being investigated Section 509 of the Penal Code, which is used to probe a word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of a person.
"My expose of this incident through MyWatch is considered to have been intended at insulting the modesty of a person," Sanjeevan said.
Sanjeevan said his statement had been recorded by the police last week, and complied with all their requests, except cooperating with them as he believed the police were intent on protecting the senior officer.
Gabriel said whistle-blowing was a "hazardous venture" and while Sanjeevan almost lost his life, he returned with an "obsessive zeal" to expose more allegations of corruption in the police force.
Sanjeevan (pic, left) was shot on July 23, 2013, at a junction in Bahau, Negri Sembilan.
Prior to that, he tweeted about a policeman who alleged had told a syndicate to scare Sanjeevan and his family.
Gabriel said from Sanjeevan’s past experiences, including that of his own “shoot-to-kill” incident, he had refused to hand over his information.
She added that he had sought assurances from the home minister and the prime minister that a thorough investigation would be carried out and that the alleged perpetrator was suspended.
"No such assurance came, of course. Instead, he was issued a court order compelling him to hand over all evidence within 14 days to facilitate investigations under Section 509 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. "
Gabriel said C4 is concerned that Sanjeevan would not receive any protection under the WPA, the very law designed to combat corruption, despite clauses in the act that provide protection to whistleblowers.
"Despite the WPA having the goal of giving protection to the whistleblower… Sanjeevan can tell you that he has enjoyed none of these thus far.
"In sharp contrast, under the New South Wales Public Interest Disclosure Act, if no action is taken by the enforcement agencies, a whistleblower will be protected if he brings the matter to the attention of a Member of Parliament or the media."
Gabriel said political will was needed to change the situation to advocate for independent investigations. If not, what little trust is left in the police and other institutions would crumble. – July 17, 2014.