Company deputy director is first individual charged under Whistleblower Protection Act

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 18): A deputy director of a private company was brought to the Sessions Court here today for causing an employee of the company to be sacked, for informing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the former's wrongdoings.

Wafiy Abd Aziz, 35, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial after the charge was read out before Judge Azman Ahmad.

He was charged under Section 10(3)(b) of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 (Act 711) and can be sentenced under Section 10(6) of the same Act, which carries a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or a jail term of not more than 15 years or both, if convicted.

This is the first time a charge was made under the Act, since it was enforced in 2010.

According to the charge, Wafiy was accused of taking action that harmed an informer, by provoking the chairman of Education Malaysia Global Services Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamed Shariff to sign the termination of employment document against the employee, in retaliation towards the employee's exposé on his improper conduct to the anti-graft body.

The accused was alleged to have committed the offence at Education Malaysia Global Services' office at Jalan Mayang Sari, here, on Jan 9.

MACC deputy public prosecutor Mohd Afif Ali said the offence under the said section, is non-bailable, in which the accused generally do not have the right to be released with bail. 

"Although it is a non-bailable offence, the prosecution does not object if the court wants to use its discretion to allow the accused to be released with bail until the trial is over," he said.

The prosecution proposed RM30,000 bail with one surety besides an additional condition for the accused to report himself to the nearest MACC office once a month.

Azman fixed the bail at RM15,000 in one surety and ordered the accused to report to the nearest MACC once every two weeks and not to harass the prosecution's witnesses until the trial is over.

The accused was represented by lawyer Siti Sarah Khalil.

The court set Oct 22 for re-mentioning of the case.