Without whistleblowers, we have no data, no knowledge, nor any recourse for any action. To use schools as a microcosm of Malaysia's public service, only once teachers, students, staff, and parents are all legally protected as whistleblowers will the true extent of damage be revealed. Misconduct by public servants must be accepted by all as serious violations of law and not by propagandized terms such as “issues”, “complaints”, “internal matters”, and / or “concerns”.
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 do not feel safe reporting corruption nor misconduct. In 11 years, MACC has only filed a single charge using the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Today, the Ministry of Education (MOE) controls over 419,000 public servants, predominantly teachers. In most school-based abuse / negligence / misconduct cases, teachers & students are the primary witnesses and often well-aware of the MOE’s long-term SOP & law violations. If teachers blow the whistle—as required by the Public Officers Regulations 1993 and/or MACC Act 2009— these teacher whistleblowers are threatened, pressured, and harassed. How? Because their superiors receive their whistleblower reports: the same superiors with full control over the whistleblower including transfers, disciplinary actions, even dismissal.
Today, internal disciplinary investigations do not allow any legal whistleblower protection, reminded Abu Kassim Mohamad (Director-General of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-corruption); some have likewise been warned by corrupt parties to not assist criminal / civil litigation.
According to our internal whistleblower survey covering over a decade of combined MOE experience (and corroborated by student reports), hundreds of misconduct investigations have been shut down because the MOE claimed “no evidence against the teacher, so we cannot take action” when corrupt MOE officers have allegedly already threatened witnesses and fabricated evidence.
Whistleblower protection must be significantly strengthened and expanded. Whistleblowers must:
- be awarded protection independently by the Public Ombudsman, SUHAKAM, and other similar agencies (few exist);
- 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;
- be allowed to indefinitely consult lawyers both within the Ombudsman and outside without any penalty against their protection;
- be given protection without any restrictions from other legislation (e.g,. OSA, Sedition Act, Penal Code 203A), motivation, nor types of disclosure;
- be incentivized with monetary compensation (and for staff / teachers: Sasaran Kerja Tahunan scores + promotion opportunities);
- 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;
- if the alleged crime reported by the whistleblower is of a heinous, violent, sexual, or widespread nature, all damages / awards are automatically tripled;
- 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.