General & Misc

Stronger Whistleblower Act needed to protect Public

Date: 13 September 2018; Type: Industry Updates; Source: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Bernama) - Malaysia needs a stronger Whistleblower Protection Act with the public feeling protected if they report any wrongdoings.

Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Senator Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said it was important to ensure that people were confident with the Act or no one would report on misdeeds.

“There must an effective mechanism where it is safe for the whistleblower to report and feels assured of action.

“For example, in the United States they have the Dodd-Frank Act which is an effective way to protect whistleblowers,” he told reporters after delivering his keynote address at the “Public Sector Internal Audit Conference 2018 - The Notion of Public Values” here today.

The Dodd-Frank Act 2010 is a US federal law that places regulation of the financial industry in the hands of the government. It created financial regulatory processes to limit risk by enforcing transparency and accountability.

Earlier in his speech, Mohd Radzi said internal auditors in the public sector should discuss among themselves on identifying ways to improving the independence and transparency of their reports.

“We need to set the right tone and signal to the public as Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has repeatedly stressed on (the importance of) upholding integrity within the government.

“We must remember the purpose of an internal audit is to add value and improve an organisation’s operations,” he said.

Echoing the opinion of the deputy minister, Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) Chief Executive Officer Dr Nurmazilah Datuk Mahzan said there was a need to look at the structure of the respective internal audit departments in the government sector before determining the next action to enhance transparency and accountability.

“Currently, we notice the level of awareness on these matters has improved and urge everyone to take preventive measures to inculcate honesty and integrity.

“On the Whistleblower Act, there is also a need for the government to obtain more relevant data and measure the level of understanding of the current Act by the public to ensure its effectiveness moving forward,” she added.

The Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 was passed by Parliament in June, 2010, and brought into force on Dec 15 of the same year.

The objective of the Act is to give protection to a whistleblower through confidentiality of their information, immunity from civil and criminal action and protection from detrimental action against them.

MY Bernama

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