Stronger + broader + external protection for all whistleblowers (e.g., schools)

By:

Fiqah Roslan

Affiliations:

The Tiada.Guru Campaign

Policy Code:

3f Education

Problem Statement:

The public service [1] does not feel [2] protected by MACC [3] nor their internal departments [4] to report corruption.

As Ministry of Education (MOE) whistleblowers, we can share the deeply disturbing corruption within the MOE, but the same failures apply to the public service in entirety: for example, over 60% of teachers [5] do not feel safe reporting corruption or misconduct. In 11 years, MACC has only filed a single charge [6] using the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Today, the Ministry of Education (MOE) controls over 419,000 public servants, predominantly teachers [7]. In most school-based abuse / negligence / misconduct cases, teachers & students are the primary witnesses and often [8] well-aware [9] of the MOE’s long-term SOP & law violations [10]. If teachers blow the whistle—as required by the Public Officers Regulations 1993 and/or MACC Act 2009 [11]— these teacher whistleblowers are threatened, pressured, and harassed [12]. How? Because their superiors receive their whistleblower reports [13]: the same superiors with full control over the whistleblower including transfers, disciplinary actions, even dismissal [14].

Today, internal disciplinary investigations do not allow [15] any legal whistleblower protection [16]; many have likewise been warned by corrupt, senior public servants to not assist criminal / civil litigation [17].

According to our internal whistleblower survey covering over a decade of combined MOE experience (and corroborated by student reports [18]), hundreds of misconduct investigations have been shut down because the MOE claimed “no evidence against the teacher, so we cannot take action” when in fact corrupt MOE officers already threatened witnesses [19] and fabricated evidence [20].

Citation Reference
[1] I was threatened, bullied, called a traitor, says MACC chief (NST)
[2] Fear stops civil servants from reporting corrupt practices, says Cuepacs (Malaysian Reserve)
[3] Cuepacs seeks better protection for whistleblowers (FMT)
[4] Suspension of ‘whistleblower judge’ a blow to fight against corruption, says C4 (FMT)
[5] Mengakhiri Rasuah dalam Pendidikan dengan Solidariti Rakyat (Tiada.Guru)
[6] MACC to file maiden charge under Whistleblower Protection Act 10 years after enactment (Malay Mail)
[7] Quick Facts 2019: Malaysia Educational Statistics (MOE)
[8] Saving face: Protecting predators in education — Concerned Educators (Malay Mail)
[9] Corrupt educators, corrupt nation (Malaysiakini)
[10] Corrupt educators to corrupt minds to corrupt nation (Malaysiakini)
[11] The Law of the Land (Tiada.Guru)
[12] c.f. [8]
[13] c.f. [9]
[14] c.f. [3]
[15] A critical look into the Whistleblower Protection Act (IDEAS)
[16] Scope for whistleblower protection too narrow, say experts (FMT)
[17] Rizal: "I was scared and fled to Jakarta" (NST)
[18] Save The Schools MY (Instagram)
[19] Ethics in Education (Tiada.Guru)
[20] Murid Nak Saman Cikgu, Guru Besar ‘Back Up’ Sanggup Palsukan Maklumat (Lobak Merah)

Value(s) and Belief(s):

To use schools as a microcosm of Malaysia, only once teachers, students, staff, and parents are all legally protected as whistleblowers will the true extent of damage be revealed.

Misconduct must be accepted by all as serious violations of law and not by propagandized terms such as “issues”, “complaints”, “internal”, and / or “concerns”.

Proposal of Solution:

Whistleblower protection must be significantly strengthened and expanded.

Whistleblowers must:

1. be awarded protection independently by the Public Ombudsman, SUHAKAM, and other similar agencies (few exist);
2. be allowed to submit whistleblower reports and evidence confidentially and be only required to reveal themselves if required during a disciplinary, civil, or criminal proceeding;
3. be allowed to indefinitely consult lawyers both within the Ombudsman and outside without any penalty against their protection;
4. be given protection without any restrictions from other legislation (e.g,. OSA, Sedition Act, Penal Code 203A), motivation, nor types of disclosure;
5. be incentivized with monetary compensation (and for staff / teachers: Sasaran Kerja Tahunan scores + promotion opportunities);
6. if the victims are minors (or other protected categories including OKU, orang asli, migrants, impoverished / B40), all damages / rewards are automatically tripled to match the significant power imbalance and permanent damage;
7. if the alleged crime reported by the whistleblower is of a heinous, violent, sexual, or widespread nature, all damages / awards are automatically tripled;
8. if the whistleblower is a public servant, they are automatically awarded protection if they testify in any legal, criminal, and / or disciplinary proceeding against alleged misconduct, corruption, and / or misfeasance.

Additional Information:

Translation

Isu dan Polisi Semasa:

Perkhidmatan awam [1] tidak terasa [2] dilindungi oleh SPRM [3] mahupun jabatan dalaman [4] mereka untuk melaporkan penyelewengan.

Sebagai pemberi maklumat Kementerian Pendidikan (KPM), kami boleh berkongsi penyelewengan mendalam dan meluas dalam KPM, namun kegagalan yang sama berlaku dalam segenap perkhidmatan awam: sebagai contoh, lebih 60% guru [5] tidak berasa selamat untuk melaporkan penyelewengan atau salah laku. Dalam 11 tahun, SPRM hanya pernah mengemukakan satu tuduhan [6] menerusi Akta Perlindungan Pemberi Maklumat.

Hari ini, Kementerian Pendidikan (KPM) mengawal lebih 419,000 penjawat awam, sebahagian besarnya terdiri daripada guru [7]. Dalam kebanyakan kes penderaan / kecuaian / salah laku yang terjadi di sekolah, guru & pelajar merupakan saksi utama dan selalunya [8] sudah peka [9] tentang pelanggaran SOP & undang-undang lama KPM [10]. Sekiranya guru membuka mulut — seperti yang dikehendaki oleh Peraturan-Peraturan Pegawai Awam 1993 dan/atau Akta SPRM 2009 [11] — pemberi maklumat guru ini akan diugut, didesak dan diganggu [12]. Bagaimana? Kerana pegawai atasan mereka menerima laporan pemberian maklumat mereka [13]: pegawai atasan yang sama mempunyai kawalan penuh ke atas pemberi maklumat termasuk pemindahan, tindakan disiplin, malah pembuangan [14].

Hari ini, siasatan tatatertib dalaman tidak menyediakan [15] sebarang bentuk perlindungan pemberi maklumat yang sah [16]; ramai yang telah diberikan amaran oleh penjawat awam atasan yang korup supaya tidak membantu dalam perbicaraan jenayah / sivil [17].

Menurut tinjauan pemberi maklumat dalaman kami yang meliputi lebih satu dekad pengalaman bergabung MOE (dan disahihkan oleh laporan pelajar [18]), beratus-ratus siasatan salah laku telah ditutup kerana KPM mendakwa “tiada bukti terhadap guru, jadi kami tidak dapat mengambil tindakan” walhal sebenarnya pegawai KPM yang korup telah mengugut saksi [19] dan memalsukan bukti [20].

Rujukan Petikan
[1] I was threatened, bullied, called a traitor, says MACC chief (NST)
[2] Fear stops civil servants from reporting corrupt practices, says Cuepacs (Malaysian Reserve)
[3] Cuepacs seeks better protection for whistleblowers (FMT)
[4] Suspension of ‘whistleblower judge’ a blow to fight against corruption, says C4 (FMT)
[5] Mengakhiri Rasuah dalam Pendidikan dengan Solidariti Rakyat (Tiada.Guru)
[6] MACC to file maiden charge under Whistleblower Protection Act 10 years after enactment (Malay Mail)
[7] Quick Facts 2019: Malaysia Educational Statistics (MOE)
[8] Saving face: Protecting predators in education — Concerned Educators (Malay Mail)
[9] Corrupt educators, corrupt nation (Malaysiakini)
[10] Corrupt educators to corrupt minds to corrupt nation (Malaysiakini)
[11] The Law of the Land (Tiada.Guru)
[12] rujuk silang [8]
[13] rujuk silang [9]
[14] rujuk silang [3]
[15] A critical look into the Whistleblower Protection Act (IDEAS)
[16] Scope for whistleblower protection too narrow, say experts (FMT)
[17] Rizal: "I was scared and fled to Jakarta" (NST)
[18] Save The Schools MY (Instagram)
[19] Ethics in Education (Tiada.Guru)
[20] Murid Nak Saman Cikgu, Guru Besar ‘Back Up’ Sanggup Palsukan Maklumat (Lobak Merah)

Nilai-nilai dan Kepercayaan:

Untuk menggunakan sekolah sebagai mikrokosma di Malaysia; hanya setelah guru, pelajar, kakitangan dan ibu bapa semuanya dilindungi secara sah sebagai pemberi maklumat, barulah tahap kerosakan yang sebenar akan didedahkan.

Salah laku mesti diterima oleh semua orang sebagai pelanggaran undang-undang yang serius dan tidak dipropaganda dengan istilah-istilah seperti “isu”, “aduan”, “dalaman” dan / atau “masalah”.

Penyelesaian:

Perlindungan pemberi maklumat mesti diperkukuhkan dan diperluaskan dengan ketara.

Pemberi maklumat mesti:

1. diberikan perlindungan secara bebas oleh Ombudsman Awam, SUHAKAM, dan agensi lain yang serupa (tidak banyak wujud);
2. dibenarkan untuk menghantar laporan pemberi maklumat dan bukti secara sulit dan hanya dikehendaki untuk mendedahkan diri mereka (jika perlu) semasa prosiding formal tatatertib, sivil atau jenayah;
3. dibenarkan untuk berunding dengan peguam tanpa sekatan dalam struktur Ombudsman dan sumber perundangan luar tanpa dikenakan penalti terhadap perlindungan mereka;
4. diberikan perlindungan tanpa sebarang sekatan daripada perundangan lain (mis. OSA, Akta Hasutan, Kanun Keseksaan 203A), motif atau jenis pendedahan;
5. diberikan insentif dengan pampasan wang (dan untuk kakitangan / guru: markah Sasaran Kerja Tahunan + peluang kenaikan pangkat);
6. jika mangsa adalah kanak-kanak bawah umur (atau kategori terlindung lain termasuk OKU, orang asli, migran, miskin tegar/B40), semua kerosakan/ganjaran akan dihadiahkan tiga kali ganda secara automatik untuk setimpal dengan ketidakseimbangan kuasa yang ketara dan kerosakan kekal;
7. sekiranya tuduhan jenayah yang dilaporkan oleh pemberi maklumat bersifat keji, ganas, seksual atau berleluasa, semua kerosakan / pampasan akan dihadiahkan tiga kali ganda secara automatik;
8. jika pemberi maklumat merupakan penjawat awam, mereka akan diberikan perlindungan secara automatik jika mereka memberi keterangan dalam apa-apa prosiding mahkamah, jenayah dan / atau tatatertib terhadap tuduhan salah laku, penyelewengan dan / atau penyalahgunaan kuasa.

Informasi Tambahan: