Human rights groups say ‘fake news’ law may stifle whistleblowing

Source: The Star Online

Image taken from The Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of human rights groups has called on the Government to drop a proposed law to tackle fake news, saying it will stop people from speaking out on wrongs in the country.

“‘Fake news’ may be an increasingly popular buzzword, but it cannot serve as an excuse for the Government to censor criticism,” the coalition said in a statement Friday (March 23).

“We urge the Government to drop the proposed Bill, which we believe is yet another attempt to stifle debate and criminalise those who speak out against corruption and human rights violations,” they said.

The coalition, made up of 14 human rights groups in Malaysia, said that the Bill on fake news would add to a range of laws that have been used to violate the right to freedom of expression and undermine media freedom.

They said that with the upcoming general election, they are concerned that the Bill could be used as a dragnet to make it a crime to report on government misconduct and give critical opinions.

“Malaysian authorities have selectively prosecuted Opposition politicians, human rights defenders and journalists under existing laws for exercising their right to freedom of expression,” said the statement. Read more

IDEAS: Whistleblowers Protection Act too weak to protect public

Source: FMT News

IDEAS CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan - Pic from FMT News

IDEAS CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan – Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: The extremely low number of whistleblowers coming forward to report on any wrongdoings in this country is due to weaknesses in the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010, says IDEAS chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

Referring to a new policy paper titled “A critical look into the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010” presented by IDEAS board member and past president of the Malaysian Bar Christopher Leong, the think tank chief said there are severe gaps in what should be reported and what is currently being reported in the country.

“Many experts can agree that whistleblowing is one of the best ways to discover corruption. In countries like the US, as much as 46% of fraud cases were discovered due to whistleblowers.

“However, in Malaysia, the numbers are extremely low. Only 28 out of 8,953 complaints made to the MACC in 2012 were by whistleblowers. This is approximately 0.3% of cases,” Wan Saiful said in a statement. Read more

Tender for 2017 SEA Games gymnastics equipment flawed, official claims

Source: The Malay Mail Online

“It is rightly so that the MACC step in to check such unethical process,” – an official from the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF)

2017 Sea Games logo, taken from MMO

2017 SEA Games logo, taken from MMO

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 ― News has filtered out from the corridors of powers that the tender exercise for the supply of equipment for gymnastics events in the 2017 SEA Games hosted by Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur has not gone through the proper procedures.

Bernama was reliably informed that an official from the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) had submitted a tender for the supply of gymnastics equipment through a company that the official is believed to have vested interest.

According to a source close to the tender process, though such a submission of tender would be a conflict of interest, those in the panel, including the National Sports Council (NSC) have not rejected the bid.

“This is against the integrity pledge that Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has been promoting for associations and companies to abide when accepting a call from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for companies, associations and government agencies to sign integrity pledges.

“It is rightly so that the MACC step in to check such unethical process,” said the source. Read more

Changing mindset to catch crooks and bullies

Source: The Star Online

GIVING our children an avenue to anonymously report wrongdoing at school is a good thing, right? As it is, most adults are reluctant to speak out against the offences and misconduct that they see. They fear that this will lead to inconvenience, alienation or worse, reprisals.

Imagine how much harder it is for kids to tell teachers or school heads about other students being bullies or playing truant.

This is why it is a good idea that all schools must now provide a complaint box for tip-offs on student misconduct and criminal activity. And yet, some parents and teachers appear to be unenthusiastic about this move. Read more