Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Whistleblower Protection Act: Don't Let it be Misunderstood

Notes: The sender of this letter says the on-going case involving Rafizi Ramli vis-a-vis the National Feedlot Centre (NFCorp) issue should not deter Malaysians from blowing the whistle on wrong-doers because the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 [Act 711] does provide safeguards ... "The whistleblower protection mechanism in the Act clearly states the types of disclosures that can be made, to whom it’s to be made to, how one qualifies for whistleblower protection and how he may lose it, its enforcement procedures, acts which amount to offences and their penalties. It’s all there, all clear. Nothing hidden, no diabolical plan behind it."

Dear Rocky,
Good intentions are always misunderstood, especially if one already has prejudices clouding their minds, and opposes every good intention of the Government. Any new idea or policy introduced is more often than not met with sneers, ridicule and straight-out criticism –everything is seen as a tool for the Government to close its ranks and protect its own.

The aim of the Whistleblower Protection Act, even before it came into being, has always been very clear  - to protect those disclosing information on wrongdoings from being victimized for making the disclosure. The protection is extended indiscriminately to every citizen from every walk of life, be it in the public or private sector, so long as the disclosure is made in accordance with the mechanism encapsulated within the Act. The way this Act works is the same way in which other whistleblower legislation works in countries that have long provided for whistleblower protection, which, incidentally, were referred to in drafting the Malaysian legislation.

The whistleblower protection mechanism in the Act clearly states the types of disclosures that can be made, to whom it’s to be made to, how one qualifies for whistleblower protection and how he may lose it, its enforcement procedures, acts which amount to offences and their penalties. It’s all there, all clear. Nothing hidden, no diabolical plan behind it.

Unfortunately, when one is blinded by his misconceptions and prejudices, he chooses to see only what he wants to see and believes only what he wants to believe. Had it been any Tom, Dick or Rafizi who did the “whistleblowing” and the misconduct disclosed of not connected to some former Cabinet Minister, things would probably not turned out the way it did. However, with the players in this little tale being who they are and what they represent, fingers were automatically pointed and accusations hurled without anyone bothering to do a little homework before putting their foots into their mouths.

Graphic by Beruang Biru
Yes, our dear Mr. Rafizi blew the whistle. Is he a whistleblower within the textbook definition of “whistleblower”, then? Not quite, as most dictionaries define a whistleblower as an employee who reports of employer misconduct. Is Mr. Rafizi an employee of NFCorp? That fact is very much doubted. The kind people who drafted the Malaysian legislation didn’t want to be confined to the textbook meaning of whistleblower and instead broadened it to be any person who makes a disclosure of improper conduct. Does this make Mr. Rafizi a Malaysian whistleblower, then? Not quite either. Read the definition of whistleblower in section 2 of the Act and the magic words “to the enforcement agency” towards the end of the sentence gives you the answer. Unless the two people that he disclosed the information to can, by any stretch of the imagination, fall within the meaning of “enforcement agency” also found under section 2, then our dear Mr. Rafizi is also sadly denied the title of Malaysian whistleblower. If he can’t even whistle blow the Malaysian way, how can he be protected?

If he’s not a textbook whistleblower and he’s not a Malaysian whistleblower, who is he then? A good Samaritan intending to put right the wrong that has long been going on without any slightest consideration to protect or spare his informer, a person described as any other person named in the disclosure of improper conduct who would suffer any risk or loss if his identity is disclosed as described in the definition of “a whistleblower” in Act 711, or a person with a hidden agenda who is not above using unscrupulous means to achieve that agenda? It’s for the court to decide. Either way, with the manner and clouded intent in which he made the disclosure, he does not deserve whistleblower protection legally or otherwise. 
Thank you.


  1. Anonymous6:25 pm

    Joke of the Year .....

    Shahrizat : "I tidak perasan suami I bida Project NFC"

  2. Anonymous6:41 pm

    The whistle only works if non umno people involved.

  3. This is the problem with most MALAYSIANS. They have totally "NO CLUE" about Law & Order but yet act as if they had studied Law. If Malaysians can't even understand the basic meaning of "WHISTLEBLOWER", then, what more can we ask from Malaysians to justify the arrest of RAFIZI RAMLI??? Most of these Law ignorant Malaysians are PAKATAN RAKYAT supporters/voters of whom would simply BLOW the whistle whenever their leaders are put in tight spot without putting any common sense & thoughts to Law & Order.

    Oh yes....isn't RAFIZI RAMILI the PKR Strategy Director??? Shouldn't an individual of such position use his strategical brains before executing something important??? I guess RAFIZI RAMLI ate too much BAK KUT TEH before exposing the NFC saga.

  4. Anonymous11:02 pm

    In that case, the law is defective and dine purposely that so that the definition is so narrowed and thus UMNO crooks have no worry to continue their notorious business of ribbing the Malaysian wealth. The Malay had been conned so many years in Gabor of the UMNOpitra and it is time they see the UMNO real face and they should vote UMNO out in the next election.

  5. Anonymous11:36 pm

    anon 11:02,

    it had to be bn's fault... is it...
    anyhow, anywhere or whatever it is, it is always bn's fault...

    might as well go die peacefully, please...

  6. What's so special about Rafizi that he should be given free pass for his 'revelations'? Even Datuk Ts were charged. They underwent the same legal process although they expose the true color of the opposition head.

    This country is going to the dogs should the pakatan rakyats take power.

  7. Anonymous7:29 am

    So George Kent is sub-contracting out up to 80% of the LRT works. If that's acceptable for BN, then tahi boleh dimakan.

  8. Anonymous7:35 am


    You are the one spinning away trying to CREATE MISUNDERSTANDING!!!

    Its the Principle and not the Jargon Mate!

  9. Anonymous8:17 am

    Come to think of it, it was the auditor general who first report about the irregularities of this NFC thing and every body already knows about it, then Rafizi and the gang just "tambah minyak" to it, so what whistle blower are we talking about anyway?LOL!!!

  10. Dear Rocky, i like reading your blog but honestly, i am disturbed with the latest situation involving this Rafizi.

    You see, as much as I loved UMNO, do i want a government who when I pointed their misdeed, they will cry "Fitnah". But when I showed them the proof, they will charge me for the disclosure.

    Mind you, Ezam has had a similar situation some tim ago. Now it is Rafizi's turn.

    My point is this. UMNO and the personalities behind UMNO are actually 2 different things. UMNO has had long history of bakti - good deeds. But if UMNO wants to protect every personality behind it, even if the wrongs are glaring - then UMNO and the bad personalities will be 1. That is my fear of UMNO.

  11. Bidin8:56 am

    sometimes politicians really display their arrogance and ignorance and total inanity and stupidity when they are consumed with vile and blind political "faith".

    the loikes of dr Dzul of Pas demonstrated his idiocy when he questioned Rafizi's arrest under the law of the land because Rafizi exposed wrongdoing.

    TYou wonder what is wrong with these people?

    I'd applaud the government even if that person in rafizi's place was from BN.

    Won;t and doesn't matter.

    How can you claim to uphold the rule of law yada yada yada, when you macam nak mati defend rafizi?

    you and i didn;t make the law.. parliament did..

  12. Papagoblokmo10:00 am

    "I didn't knew my mother was a 1Woman!"
    Janji Feed & Loot RM250,000,000 Ditepati!!!

  13. Khinzir Toyol10:02 am

    Janji Protection under OSA ISA BAFIA MAFIA NFA Ditepati... Semuanya OK!!!

  14. Anonymous10:16 am

    "I didn't have any idea my husband bid for a RM 250 million project."

    "I didn't have any idea my children were on the board of that company."

    "I didn't know the board of NFC transferred money to buy condos in KL and Singapore."

    "I didn't know the money for Meatworks expansion in Singapore and KL came from NFC. I thought my husband had plenty of money."

    If I had the bank accounts, I would also take them to the press. Screw the MACC - it's nothing more than a BN broom to sweep matters under the carpet.

  15. Anonymous10:19 am

    Which country in the world goes after a whistleblower if the information so leaked is actually the proof that wrongdoing - mega wrongdoing - had happened, and without that public disclosure, even much more public funds would be lost ?

    The law is not meant to protect the guilty, and it clearly shows in this case that the Act was not designed for the noble purpose that it purports to have.

    Think. Oh I forgot, mana ada Pencuri yang akan setuju ?

  16. A very sensible argument on BAFIA...

    http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?col=bravenewworld&file=/2012/8/8/columnists/bravenewworld/11814105&sec=Brave New World

    NOT TO protect wrong-doings!!!

  17. Anonymous1:06 pm

    "If he can’t even whistle blow the Malaysian way, how can he be protected?"
    - Well, i think he can go BLOW other stuff/people...hehe

  18. Anonymous1:30 pm

    Gila babi punya loser supporter Pakatan Rakyat ni. They talk about abuse and corruption but the abuse and corruption of their leaders are deemed as virtues. Ini abuse of the the Act but Rafizi is seen as a hero. They intrepreted their own law. kena kat dia semua orang salah. Loser tahap gaban....

  19. Zali,

    I like your point: Umno and the personalities behind Umno are two different things. This thing about Umno trying to protect its leaders ... Why then is Shahrizat in court? Why did she have to lose her powerful position as Minister?

    Some of us have also been trying to stress that like Umno and Umno persoinalities, Bafia and NFC are two different matters.

    The NFC case, blown open by the Attorney General, is today in court. The Judiciary, I think we can agree now after seeing so many verdicts going both (BN and Pakatan's) ways, is fair (or unpredictable). So let's see.

    Rafizi is also in court because he allegedly broke the law. How the court is going to see that, we'll have to leave it to the court. Some said it's a open-and-shut case. I don't know what they mean, I'm not a lawyer.

    Thank you

  20. Anonymous2:38 pm


    1) Theme #1 (by DAP): Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! Semua orang mesti makan BABI. Cina punya hak sesama dengan Melayu. Negara Malaysia BUKAN negara Islam. Hudud boleh balik Kampung!!!

    2) Theme #2 (by PAS): Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! Islam & Hudud mesti dipertahankan. Tidak ada agama lain di Malaysia selain Islam . Cina tak 'happy' boleh balik TONGSAN CINA & India tak 'happy' boleh balik MUMBAI.

    3) Theme #3 (by PKR): Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! Oooii DAP & PAS janganlah BODOH & janganlah GADUH. Nak gaduh pun tunggu selepas PRU13. Bila kami menang, PKR akan jadi BOSS. DAP & PAS boleh lawan sampai mati.

    4) Theme #4 (by BERSIH): Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! Mari semua pakai KUNING. Kami akan memBERSIHKAN jalan, longkang, hutan, tandas di seluruh Malaysia. Kami akan guna CLOROX dan membasmi kuman-kuman di rumah AMBIGA.

  21. Anonymous2:41 pm

    NFC & BAFIA is indeed 2 different case.

    It's like if an intruder broke into your home but you somehow killed that intruder. So, what does this bring???

    1) YES, the intruder could be found guilty.

    2) YES, you too could be found guilty for manslaughter or murder.

  22. Anonymous3:21 pm

    how come bila org UMNO/BN kena charge jat court...org BN/UMNO takde bising2...tp...bila org PGayR kena charge...semua bising like hell???

  23. Anonymous3:33 pm

    the common thread of pakatan goons is just to see UMNO down

    they care not for laws, moral values, integrity, welfare of the rakyat etc

    they only want to wrest power from UMNO not BN because UMNO represents the Malays

  24. Anonymous3:38 pm

    anon@11:02 PM wants only UMNO out not BN huh?

    so pakatan with their unruly demos, disregard for rule of law, forever embroiled in scandals, sexual and financial is the ideal govt eh?

    the years they ruled saw no improvement in the rakyat's welfare in fact sheer incompetence is the order of the day where pakatan goons are concerned

  25. gerard4:03 pm

    zali - Ezam did not violate BAFIA. If you know of a wrongdoing, of course you can expose the culprit. If Rafizi had info not protected under BAFIA, that's a different matter.

    Of course, the bank account was proof, but you expose it not without impunity or immunity.

    the same if someone who hates Anwar Ibrahim or Lim Kit Siang or Guan Eng , did the same thing,,,not to say any of these guys have got ill-gotten gain stashed away...but say if they did, that bank clerk digging their accounts and passing it to Ibrahim Ali or Nazri Aziz and Ibrhaim or Nazri call a press conference to expose them -- well -- same same..that is wrong.

    if people cannot understand that...you'll have chaos.

    NFC was being investigated anyway. It's not like Rafize exposed them, he gest charged but Salleh and NFC escapes litgation. come on -- styop thinking politics for once.

  26. Anonymous5:00 pm

    You Simply Don't Get It Rocky...

    You are Supporting a Regime that is Corrupt...Use whatever lingo you might want to, You are therefore Equally Corrupt Therefore whatever you say is coming from a Corrupt Person!!!

  27. Anonymous6:05 pm

    In another words, ROcky agrees that Rafizi did the right thing but wrong way according to him. And because of Rafizi, Sharizat is the court now. Because of Rafizi, UMNO's wrong doing is public now. Otherwise Sharizat family would continue to keep the 250 million and keep on buying properties in their family names.Conclusion: Razifi is a hero exposing the UMNO crooks even though he is at risk being put into jail. For me this is a true Malay MAN with dignity unlike the UMNO crooks who continue to rob rakyat's money for their own pocket.

  28. I tak perasan ada Menteri bernama Shahrizat ...

  29. Anonymous8:14 pm

    BAFIA and NFC are two different matters. Really ? this case does not connect the two ? mana u letak otak lembu ?

  30. Anonymous8:45 pm

    Unfortunately, a vast majority of us Malaysians are ignorant of the laws, but pretend to be experts at law. This is the problem with the new social media, where avenues are ample for many people to chip in with their 5 sen's worth. To me, their 5 sen is worth zilch!!

    But I am glad there is at least one reader who fully understands the Whistleblower Protection Act, and writes so clearly on the key points at the same time.

  31. Mr. Angry11:13 pm

    Just a quick glance at these comments just tell me that apparently PKR has a lot of lawyers posting comments, because apparently the law is wrong.

    Seems like there are alot of bad lawyer.

    The law stands firm. Rafizi is not above the law. Nobody should be.

    Now the issue is someone cried wolf, but nobody buys it because the boy who cried wolf is just a wolf himself in boys clothing. He takes one wolf out of the equation, and he has all the sheep to himself to share with his pack. It's just nature.

    The whistle blower act is not flawed, it's just that people don't read.

    Stop lying to yourselves guys, it's worrying some of the stuff that gets said here.


  32. Anonymous12:35 pm

    you might be smart but we are not stupid...kah kah kah

  33. Anonymous2:02 pm

    Stupid BN cybertroopers - show me a case anywhere in the world where the "illegal" release of truthful and accurate information on a crime - usually to the press - results in the conviction of the person releasing such information.

    In Bolehland, the perpetrators of huge crimes are protected by the Whistleblower's Act while the whistleblowers are victimised. It's a simple message to whistleblowers - give us the information regarding any rape and pillage and we will decide if there's a case. If you gie information to the public, we will go after you.

  34. Anonymous5:21 pm

    This is a classic example of how to use the forms of the Wistleblower's to undermine its substance. It is a kind of Reverse Rule of Law that has become the play book in all Third World countries.The people in power have become so sophisticated that they know the power of the Reverse Rule of Law. It looks benign, legal and apolitical.