Blow the whistle — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sundaily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

Whistleblowers-Act-2010BLOW the whistle” if you spot illegal, unethical or questionable acts, says Bank Negara. This is part of its policy to improve governance of banks and other financial institutions.

In the last 12 months, two key banks were fouled for non-compliance of laws. AmBank Group was slapped with a fine of RM53.7 million. The CIMB Group was required to initiate an independent review of its processes relating to the transfer of US$7 million for questionable purposes. The chairman of AmBank Group, which is at the centre of the 1MDB money trail, said that money launderers are getting smarter despite tougher regulations.

Bank Negara’s freshly-minted guidelines include a detailed whistleblowing policy that all banks and financial institutions must implement. They must set up a comprehensive system that allows for complaints to be made not only within the bank structure but to other regulators or law-enforcement agencies. Third parties dealing with banks – such as contractors and consultants – must be informed of this policy. And there must be periodic reporting and monitoring to oversee and assess that the policy is implemented and working effectively.

These guidelines could not come at a more propitious time – given the battering of Malaysia’s image internationally involving money laundering.

The guidelines actually operationalise the 2010 Whistleblower Protection Act – which was put in place to combat corruption and other wrongdoings. It is meant to encourage employees and others to report certain kinds of wrongdoing – whether in the public or private sector. As a whistleblower you’re protected by law – you shouldn’t be treated unfairly or lose your job or suffer any form of direct or indirect adverse consequence because you “blow the whistle”. Read more

How will a new ‘Interfaith Understanding’ subject fare in schools? — Rehan Ahmad

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY REHAN AHMAD

AUGUST 7 — Recently the chairman of The Committee to Promote Inter Religious Understanding and Harmony (JKMPKA) Datuk Azman Amin Hassan suggested the introduction of a new subject into the Ministry of Education’s syllabus. This subject for the time being is referred to as “Interfaith Understanding.”

Intellectual wisdom applauds any effort to enhance the unity between Malaysian citizens. However a bigger question mark lurks on the execution of such a subject.

Islamic Studies or Pendidikan Islam has been and still is taught in all public schools up to Form 5. Despite 11 years of learning this subject, for most Muslim students, the subject is not available in SPM, PMR, PT3, UPSR.

How would the introduction of a new subject fare? Read more

AG appeals against acquittal of dancer who threw yellow balloons at PM event

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Dancer Bilqis Hijjas speaks to reporters outside the KL Magistrate Court, July 1, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Dancer Bilqis Hijjas speaks to reporters outside the KL Magistrate Court, July 1, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― The Attorney-General’s Chambers have submitted an appeal against dancer Bilqis Hijjas acquitted of insulting behaviour by dropping yellow balloons during an official event attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife in a mall August last year.

A notice of the appeal which was accepted by the court registrar on July 14 was sent by post to Bilqis who received it on Friday.

The letter stated that the prosecutors were “not satisfied” with the judgement to free Bilqis by Magistrate Mohd Faizal Ismail on July 1.

When contacted, Bilqis said she was disheartened  by the AG’s decision of wanting to pursue the case despite being acquitted.

“I’m very disappointed that the matter is continuing, as I believe the judge in the first trial provided a very clear and comprehensive ruling.

“To me, this appeal seems like a nuisance suit, and a continuing waste of public resource, with very little hope of public gain,” she told Malay Mail Online yesterday. Read more