As an initiative to fight corruption, the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 (Act 711) has been duly approved in Parliament on 6th May 2010 and came into force on Wednesday 15th December 2010.
This Act is to be implemented by all enforcement agencies eg: Police Force, Customs, Immigration, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission etc., including ministries and departments under federal and state governments with investigative and enforcement authority.
The Act is formulated to encourage informers to expose corrupt practices and other misconduct. This move would provide immunity to informers from civil or criminal charges.
Based on Wikipedia “Whistleblower” is defined as:
“A whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about alleged wrongdoing occurring in an organization or body of people. Usually this person would be from that same organization. The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).”
Under section 6 of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 “Whistleblower” is defined as “any person who makes a disclosure of improper conduct to the enforcement agency ”. Under Section 6(1) of the Act, it is stated that a person may make a disclosure of improper conduct to any enforcement agency based on his reasonable belief that any person has engaged, is engaging or is preparing to engage in improper conduct Provided that such disclosure is not specifically prohibited by any written law.
Section 6(2) further states that a disclosure of improper conduct under subsection (1) may also be made although the person making the disclosure may not be able to identify a particular person to which the disclosure relates or although the improper conduct has occurred before the commencement of this Act.
Information acquired of any improper conduct of the said person while he was an officer of a public body or an officer of a private body is also relevant.
In the United States, legal protections vary according to the subject matter of the whistleblowing, and sometimes the state in which the case arises.
- Lloyd-La Follette Act (1912)
- Water Pollution Control Act (1972)
- Safe Drinking Water Act (1974)
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (also called the Solid Waste Disposal Act) (1976)
- Toxic Substances Control Act (1976)
- Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (through 1978 amendment to protect nuclear whistleblowers)
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, or the Superfund Law) (1980)
- Clean Air Act (1990)
- Surface Transportation Assistance Act (1982)
- Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (PSIA) (2002)
- Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (“AIR 21″)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) (for corporate fraud whistleblowers)
- Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) (for Securities whistleblowers)
- Military Whistleblower Protection Act
It is apperent that US has adpoted a more specific approach in protecting the Whistleblower.
On the other hand, in the United Kingdom, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 provides a framework of legal protection for individuals who disclose information so as to expose malpractice and matters of similar concern. In the vernacular, it protects whistleblowers from victimization and dismissal. (Source: Wikipedia)
We support the Government’s urge that anybody who has any report to make, need not worry as under Section 7(1), a whistleblower shall have protection of confidential information, immunity from civil and criminal action, and protection against detrimental action.
We congratulate the Government for finally implementing this Act. With the enforcement of this Act, we hope that integrity and professionalism among workers in all sectors, both private and government, would be increased accordingly.