Minister: Can Whistleblower Protection Act do its job? Thorough study needed first

Datuk Liew Vui Keong says a thorough study is needed to determine if the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 can do its job to encourage people to reveal misdeeds in the public and private sector. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Liew Vui Keong says a thorough study is needed to determine if the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 can do its job to encourage people to reveal misdeeds in the public and private sector. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — A thorough study is needed to determine if the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 can sufficiently encourage more people to reveal misdeeds in the public and private sector, a minister said.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Datuk Liew Vui Keong said there is also a need to examine how similar legislation or models worked in other countries, and if it may be more effective.

“At present the country's seven main enforcement agencies provide proper protection under the scope of the Act, which includes confidential information protection, immunity from civil or criminal action, and protection from detrimental actions (tindakan yang memudaratkan),” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The seven main enforcement agencies are the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Customs Department, the Immigration Department, the Road Transport Department, the Securities Commission, and the Companies Commission.

“In line with the need to ensure that the identity of whistleblowers will continue to be preserved, the protection afforded by the act is bound by strict terms and criteria, as can be found under Section 11 of the Act.

“For example, if the whistleblower's identity was leaked out and the information revealed to other parties, then we would be unable to provide protection,” Liew said.

He was answering a question by Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng who wanted to know if the Act will be amended to provide further protection for whistleblowers, as well as the number of whistleblowing cases which have occured under the Act.

“From the start of 2011 up until May 31, 495 individuals have sought protection under the Act, based on the records of the seven main agencies,” Liew said.