1. What is the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 [Act 711]?
Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 [Act 711] is a new act designed to provide protection for a whistleblower who reveals an inappropriate behavior. For example, if a Whistleblower discloses corrupt practices by his own employer or a friend at his workplace, he is entitled to be protected under this act.
2. What is the protection afforded to whistleblowers?
Protection provided covers three areas as follows:
- Confidentiality of information. For example, information on identity, occupation, residential address, place of employment, etc.;
- Immunity from civil or criminal action that are imposed on the whistleblower. As example, a whistleblower cannot be sued or prosecuted by the party of whose improper conduct he has disclosed; and
- Protection against detrimental action. For example, when a whistleblower had given information about a corrupt employer, he is protected under this Act against dismissal from work by the employer.
3. What is meant by improper conduct?
Improper conduct means an offence which may amount to disciplinary misconduct or criminal offence. Disciplinary offence means an act that breaches discipline in a public or private body. Offence is to be provided by law, code of ethics or circular or employments contract. While criminal offences are offences which are provided under any criminal law of the State, i.e. the Penal Code.
4. What is meant by detrimental action?
Detrimental actions include act of harm, intimidation, harassment, discrimination, termination, suspension of work, threat or anything that causes damage by any person on the whistleblower.
5. To whom does this Act apply?
This Act applies to those who are in public and private sectors. All government bodies, agencies and departments under the Federal Government, State Governments, local authorities, statutory bodies and private bodies such as a company.
6. When will the whistleblower be covered under this Act and can the protection given be revoked?
At the time the whistleblower reveals improper conduct (complaints), he is protected under this Act. Protection will last forever unless revoked under section 11 of this Act.
- Among the reasons for revocation of protections are – the whistleblower himself participated in the improper conduct;
- The whistleblower willfully made a false statement;
- Disclosure is frivolous or vexatious;
- Questions the merits of a Government policy;
- Disclosure is made solely to avoid dismissal/disciplinary action;
- The whistleblower has committed an offense under this Act.
7. If I have information about improper conduct on my employer, who or where should I disclose that information? Can I expose via e-mail, phone or letter?
The whistleblower may disclose such information to any other enforcement agency as Malaysia Police (RMP), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Road Transport Department (RTD), the Immigration Department of Malaysia and other enforcement agencies. On the basis of "no wrong door policy", enforcement agencies will not refuse the disclosure.
Under the Act, disclosure may be made orally or in writing and the authorized officer shall put it into writing. Disclosure can be made by e-mail, phone or letter, but the whistleblower is required to be present for purpose of verification.
To protect the information, the authorized officer will contact the whistleblower to attend an appointment so that protection under the Act can be implemented.
8. What remedies can be claimed by a whistleblower if he had been subjected to harmful actions?
The informant and the person who has a relationship or connection to the whistleblower may claim remedies from the court if a harmful action is taken against him in response to the disclosure of improper conduct or he is concerned that such action would be taken.
Remedies that may be claimed by the informant –
- Damages or compensation;
- Injunction (injunctive) or
- Any other relief as the court thinks fit.
9. When has this Act been enforced?This Act has been enforced on 15 December 2010.