Calling colleagues ‘sayang’, ‘dear’ now considered sexual harassment at work for civil servants, says Public Services Commission

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Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Calling colleagues “sayang” or “dear” as well as “sexting” are now considered sexual harassment in the workplace and such behaviour is an offence for civil servants, according to the Public Services Commission (PSC).

These were among the disciplinary offences for government servants as listed by the PSC in a circular dated April 7, and subsequently, shared with Sinar Harian.

It stated that calling a colleague “sayang” and “dear” is considered verbal sexual harassment, while touching, holding, groping, kissing, and pinching would be physical sexual harassment.

The act of “sexting”, which is defined as “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or videos, primarily between mobile phones”, is categorised as visual sexual harassment.

The PSC said that if a civil servant is found to have committed such offences, they could face disciplinary action under Regulation 4A of the Public Officers Regulations (Conduct and Discipline) 1993.

It also said that should a victim wish to make a formal complaint about sexual harassment at work, they must provide details such as the place, time, and date of the incident, as well as the place of duty where the offence occurred.

The PSC added that extramarital affairs among civil servants would also result in disciplinary action.

Other offences listed in the circular were absence from duty, failing to clock in and out, submitting a fake medical certificate, drug abuse, making public statements on social media and procurement infractions.

The PSC said the punishment for each offence will be determined by its disciplinary board according to the Public Officers Regulations (Conduct and Discipline) 1993, and could take the form of a warning, fine, emolument disqualification, suspension, demotion or dismissal.