26 September 2023

MALAYSIA: Controversy over fate of whistle-blowers

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Malaysian Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim has called on Public Servants to speak out against actions by the Government that are deemed to have violated rules and regulations.

However, the head of the main union representing Government workers said the union knew of cases where Public Servants had been denied promotion, transferred, or had their work schedules disrupted after reporting wrongdoings in Government.

In his monthly address to the staff of the Prime Minister’s Department, Mr Anwar said that Public Servants should act as a check and balance and speak out against actions that might be in violation of the law.

He said no Minister, including himself, should be spared from scrutiny.

“At the Finance Ministry, there were many questionable files,” Mr Anwar, who is also Minister for Finance, said.

“It is easy to place the blame on the officers, but if there are instructions from a Minister or even a Prime Minister, of course the officer would comply with it,” he said.

“However, I have given clear instructions that if there are minutes that come from the Prime Minister himself that go against the law, I must be informed of the matter.”

President of the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services, Adnan Mat said there needed to be clear guidelines to protect bureaucrats as they feared retribution should they be found out by their superiors as having lodged reports.

“Without these guarantees, Civil Servants will not respond positively to the Prime Minister’s call that they should speak up on any action by the Government that violates the law,” Mr Adnan (pictured) said.

He also said that the guidelines should emphasise the reports’ authenticity as well.

“Cuepacs does not want false reports to be filed, which would hurt the credibility of the Civil Servant involved, and the Minister,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur, 16 January 2023

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