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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Liew: Submit graft evidence to authorities, not on social media



Individuals with information on alleged corruption or wrongdoing should come forward to as whistleblowers rather than sharing it on social media, according to de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong.
Liew said this was because information leaked on social media could be said to be mere hearsay if the matter is eventually brought to court.
"You can all appreciate the fact that if all these allegations come in the form of (anonymous) letters, it becomes hearsay evidence.
"And so, for the (investigation) agencies to bring that person to court, there might be problems on the issue of admissibility. 
"So it is better for these people who want to give information to enforcement agencies to come in the form of whistleblowers," he said, adding that their identities would be protected by the relevant authorities.
Liew was speaking at a press conference in Putrajaya after officiating a two-day workshop on improving protection for whistleblowers in Malaysia.
He was asked to comment on a recent anonymous complaint letter, purportedly written by high-ranking officials within the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.
The letter, which was dated June 15, 2019, and addressed to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, contained a litany of complaints about Tourism Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi (photo) and his predecessor Nazri Abdul Aziz.
MACC chief Latheefa Koya acknowledged receiving a copy of the latter, but said the agency would not likely follow-up on the allegations unless more details were forthcoming.
'Nothing to fear'
Liew further noted that while there have been improvements in public awareness on protection for whistleblowers, its level was still "unsatisfactory."
"We still have issues where people in the workforce are fearful of reporting misconduct by their bosses.
"We need to educate them, we need to tell the general public that there is nothing to fear," he said.
Also present at the workshop today was National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) director-general Abu Kassim Mohamed, who said input from today's discussion would be incorporated as proposed amendments to the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010, taking into account best practices from other countries.
"Once they (the participants) have completed the two days of discussion, we will come up with the best practices," he said.
Both Abu Kassim and Liew indicated that amendments to the act could be tabled as early as the next Parliament session this October, or at its first session for next year in March.
Panellists for the workshop include representatives from Transparency International-Malaysia, the MACC and the European Commission. - Mkini

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