The charge carries a fine not exceeding RM100k or a jail term of not more than 15 years or both, if convicted.
A deputy director from a Higher Education Ministry-owned company was today charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with sacking a whistleblower who exposed the former’s misconduct to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Wafiy Abd Aziz, 35, who is charged under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 (Act 711), pleaded not guilty before judge Azman Ahmad.
This is the first time a person is being charged under the Act since it came into force a decade ago.
According to the charge sheet, Wafiy, a senior official at Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) had taken detrimental action against the 63-year-old employee who blew the whistle on him to the MACC.
He allegedly did this by inciting Datuk Abdul Rahman Shariff, the chairman of the company, to sign a document of ‘Termination of Employment’ against the whistleblower in retaliation for exposing his improper conduct to the anti-graft agency.
Wafiy allegedly committed the offence at the EMGS office, Suite A-21-1, Level 21, 157 Hampshire Office 1, Jalan Mayang Sari on Jan 9.
The charge framed against him under Section 10 (3)(b) of the Whistleblower Protection Act carries a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or a jail term of not more than 15 years or both, if convicted.
MACC deputy public prosecutor Mohd Afif Ali offered no bail to the accused, saying that it is a serious offence, and also a non-bailable one.
He said if the court were to still allow bail, the prosecution proposed RM30,000.
“The amount of bail decided by the court should reflect the gravity and seriousness of the charge against the accused,” he said, adding that the accused might be a flight risk or tamper with witnesses.
Meanwhile, Wafiy’s counsel Siti Sarah Khalili said her client had given full corporation throughout the investigation of the case.
She said her client was previously charged under Section 23 of the MACC Act in the same court and had been consistently reporting to the MACC office once a fortnight.
“We plead for the court to maintain the amount of bail at RM12,000 and the additional condition of reporting to the MACC, which was previously set for his (Wafiy) case under the MACC Act.
“And to say that my client would tamper with the witnesses is a baseless claim, since there are so many people at (EMGS), and we do not yet know who the witnesses are who will be called for the trial,” she said.
Azman then allowed the accused RM15,000 bail in one surety and maintained the additional condition previously set.
“The accused is also prohibited from bothering any of the prosecution witnesses throughout the trial and until the disposal of the case,” the judge said.
Wafiy’s case will be up for mention on Oct 20.
Yesterday, MACC said it would not hesitate to investigate anyone who tries to act against whistleblowers.