KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — Progressive radio station BFM has axed two employees for misconduct after a staffer’s graphic letter accusing them of sexual harassment went viral.
BFM founder Malek Ali said the company’s board, comprising current and former non-executive independent directors, arrived at the decision after sufficient evidence had been gathered.
“The BFM management team acknowledges that more could have been done to proactively gather evidence so that such misconduct could have been addressed in a more timely manner,” said Malek in a statement.
He also said BFM had sacked an employee accused of rape in 2017 after the company was made aware of the allegation in May that year.
“Immediately upon receiving the complaint, the BFM management team commenced an investigation and took the highest form of disciplinary action by terminating the employment of the accused employee.
“The BFM management team did not make a police report as the complainant did not wish to escalate the matter at the time,” said Malek.
BFM plans to improve its internal grievance structure within four weeks upon recommendations by the board.
“A review of BFM’s existing internal policies and guidelines is also underway. Our goal is to ensure that our employees feel assured that they work in a safe environment.
“As part of this review, we will be instituting training and awareness programmes for all employees; these will clearly lay out the parameters of acceptable and unacceptable conduct in the workplace, and the consequences for transgressions,” said Malek.
BFM, a business radio station that takes a liberal position on issues, was hit with an anonymous letter circulated last month that alleged a rape incident at an office party in 2017, as well as sexual harassment complaints against two male staff.
The letter writer, who claimed to be working with BFM, accused the two staff of sexually harassing her and other female colleagues with sexual propositions and comments on their dressing.
Malek’s statement today came after BFM launched an inquiry, with independent lawyers comprising its investigating committee, to probe the anonymous complaint.