Law minister: Proposed amendments to Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 to be tabled to Cabinet next month

De facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar at the Dewan Rakyat October 25, 2021. — Bernama pic
De facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar at the Dewan Rakyat October 25, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Amendments to the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2010 (Act 711) are being studied and evaluated by the government, and will be tabled to the Cabinet next month, said Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), during Question Time in Parliament this morning, revealed seven specific areas of Act 711 that are being looked at, with focus mainly on actual whistleblower protection.

He explained how there has been 73,545 complaints received under the Act since 2011, but only 527 of those complainants who received protection under Act 711.

“This is a very small percentage of those who have received protection, and it either shows flaws in the enforcement of the law, or actual weaknesses in its legal framework and provisions, and that is why we are currently studying amendments to the Act.

“There are seven issues concerning Act 711 which have been identified to be given priority as make improvements, among them Section 2, Section 6, Section 8, Section 11, which are all still being studied.

“The results of the study and evaluations undertaken by a committee tasked with overseeing the amendments will then be tabled to the Cabinet in December, 2021,” he said.

Checks show Section 2 of Act 711 involves interpretation method of its provisions, Section 6 concerning methods on disclosure of information, Section 8 relating to protection of confidential information, and Section 11 concerning conditions that would trigger revocation of protection for the whistleblowers.

Wan Junaidi then pointed the lack of proper anonymity for whistleblowers from enforcement agencies or even the alleged wrongdoer.

“We want to protect the whistleblowers so that they remain anonymous by the people they are complaining about to and the enforcement agencies as well.

“This will then cause the officers from the involved agency to be careful to not do anything to the whistleblower. That is the intention of the law,” he said.

He also agreed that political will is required to ensure the proper amendments are inserted into the improved version of the Act.

“Political will is required by the government to enforce all systems and agencies either to handle corruption, or abuse of power by government agents or even politicians, it cannot be done without political will.

“We can have all the laws, but without political will, we will not be able to achieve the objectives we are aiming for,” he added.

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