KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 —The first person ever to be charged under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 has reportedly been acquitted by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today.
According to a report by Free Malaysia Today (FMT), former deputy CEO of Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) Wafiy Abd Aziz, 37, was ordered to be freed without calling for his defence by Sessions Court judge Suzana Hussain.
This comes after Judge Suzana found that the prosecution did not manage to establish a prima facie case against Wafiy, and ordered the RM15,000 bail fee returned to the accused.
'After hearing the witnesses from the defence, prosecution and relevant authorities, the court finds that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused.
'The accused is ordered to be acquitted and discharged,” she was quoted as saying by FMT.
Wafiy was charged under Section 10(3)(b), the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 or Act 711 in 2020 for having caused a company employee to be fired after providing information to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) regarding misconduct committed by the accused.
Section 10(3)(b) criminalises retaliatory action against any whistleblower or those related to him, and is is punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of RM100,000 or both upon conviction.
He was accused of committing the act of harassing whistleblower Shahinuddin Shariff on January 9, 2020, at the office of Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS).
Wafiy allegedly influenced EMGS chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamed Shariff to terminate Shahinuddin’s terms of employment after exposing Wafiy’s unreasonable actions to the MACC.
Sessions Court Judge Azman Ahmad set bail at RM15,000 with one local guarantor and was barred from talking to other potential witnesses during the trial period.
Wafiy’s lawyer - Baljit Singh - said that the sessions court’s ruling proved that his client did not influence Abdul Rahman to terminate Shahinuddin’s employment as alleged.
'From the case hearing, it’s clear that the investigation conducted by MACC was flawed. My client never committed the offence and the court had clearly seen this based on the statements.
'The whistleblowing process under the Whistleblower Protection Act itself is disorganised, so maybe [MACC] will fix this,” he said.