Sunday, April 17, 2016

Who is a whistleblower?

The dictionary says a whistleblower is a person who informs on another or makes public disclosure of corruption or wrongdoing. And it's by this meaning that most Malaysians understand the term - more of this in a while.

Another word or term for whistleblower could be 'snitch' or 'informer' but these two terms carry slimy sleazy connotations so the famous American civic activist Ralph Nader coined the word 'whistleblower', a term he adopted from the soccer game where the referee blows a whistle on observation of any infringement of the rules.

So of late, in the last couple of years or so, we in Malaysia have heard of this term being bandied around freely, flamboyantly but, wakakaka, flimsily just like 'democracy', 'freedom of association' and 'freedom of speech', but with most of its users not knowing what all those four terms really mean.

For example, was Anwar Ibrahim's 916 attempted coup d'etat scheme a true manifestation and example of 'democracy'?

Have Lee Lam Thye, Michelle Yeoh and RPK been allowed their rights to 'freedom of association', something that their abusive detractors themselves cried out for?

As for 'freedom of speech (expression)', it's preferable we don't go there 
where there have been lamentable violations of this much touted, much abused but alas, least respected 'right' on both sides of the fence, the last being Nathaniel Tan's dirty piece of nasty propaganda shit against Lim Guan Eng - see my letter to Malaysiakini titled Nathaniel Tan’s cherry-picking and missing the elephant in the room - in which he exercised and enjoyed his 'freedom of expression', and granted, I too did so in my rebuttal of his half-truths, hidden truths and 'cherry-picked' truths, wakakaka.

Nathaniel Tan & his Mahathir-elephant  he couldn't or didn't want to see

Of course, as in everything, too much rights and very little responsibility would not be good for a nation, community, political party, etc. Too much sugar (sweetness) is bad for us, thus too much freedom (without commensurate social-communal responsibility) is a likewise bad affliction (and habit).

We cannot allow democratic 'freedoms' to launch into their excessiveness when would then invariably promote anarchy and its ensuing chaos.

Hence, one also can't argue on 'freedom of association' to hobnob with a known terrorist like Osama bin Laden or members of the Kiram family, wakakaka.

And one can't use 'freedom of speech' to incite racial violence'.

In a political party, a member can't exploit the concept of 'democracy' to do what he/she likes, like openly defying or opposing a party policy stand, unless of course he/she is prepared to leave or be expelled from or be suspended by one's own party.

In political parties, the issue of 'conscience vote' only applies to matters affecting one's conscience, eg. capital punishment, gay marriages, etc, but definitely not on administrative-governance issues, eg, recognizing the State of Israel, opposing or supporting TPPA, GST, land reclamation policy, etc.

Thus there are limits to any excessiveness in exercising one's freedoms and rights, where there must be commensurate responsibility when doing so.

Back to whistleblowing, in Australian legislation pertaining to corporations (as would be applicable to an entity like 1MDB), the definition of a whistleblower goes beyond merely informing on another or making public disclosure of corruption or wrongdoing.

The whistleblower on an institution has to be an insider, that is an officer or staff member of, or in some cases, a contractor involved with the institution on which he/she is whistleblowing.

Secondly, the issue must be one of wrong doing (against the law or an Act) and of corruption.

Thirdly, the whistleblowing must be made in 'good faith' - more of this shortly.

Under such a definition, Major Zaidi in making a police report about the EC's very delible indelible ink was NOT a whistleblower because he was an air force officer but not one in the EC. He was thus an unhappy dissatisfied voter who reported on an allegedly corrupt matter (I use the term 'corrupt' in its widest sense)

By the by, on that ink matter, three air force personnel made police reports but only two were court-martialed. Why?

That's because the two who were court-martialed were those who, on top of making the police reports (their rights as a voter), went beyond that by making press comments (or comments to the press) which was definitely NOT their right as members of the Armed Forces - the 3rd person did not make any comment to the press and was not court-martialed.

Armed Forces personnel are legally bound to obey certain restrictions as laid down by the law and instructions - these are Malaysian laws provided for under the Malaysian Constitution, not some quirky dictatorial laws laid down by some generals. Also see my letter to Malaysiakini titled Hang on a ding-dong minute, my dear Gen Blimp.

When armed forces officers violate rules, laws and instructions, they are not 'heroes' but violators of rules, laws and instructions. I hope sweetie Maria Chin Abdullah read this.

And neither is Rafizi Ramli a whistleblower in exposing this and that, though to be fair to Rafizi, he recognizes this issue when he said, as reported by FMT's Rafizi: I never asked to be protected as a whistleblower:

“But he (Nazri) also needs to recognise that I’m not a whistleblower per se. It’s the people behind me, your faceless citizens and your faceless officers who continue to take risks and provide information that allows people like me to serve the public by speaking out on their behalf.”

But I suspect (not 100% sure) Rafizi might have been incorrect in saying that, for example, in Australia there is a clause in the Whistleblowers Act that allows the whistleblower to go directly to the media because the ASIC (Australian Securities & Investment Commission) Guidance for whistleblowers sets several criteria to ensure they get the necessary protection, relevant extracts as follows:

2. Who the disclosure is made toYou must make your disclosure to:
  • the company’s auditor, or a member of the company’s audit team
  • a director, secretary or senior manager of the company
  • a person authorised by the company to receive whistleblower disclosures, or
  • ASIC.

Note the bold word 'must'.

I suspect this could be because ASIC expects a whistleblower to make an 'insider' report in good faith.

Charging directly to the media would smell badly of bad faith, probably in wanting to score publicity and media points for one's own agenda. Note following criterion.

5. Made in good faithYou must make the disclosure in ‘good faith’. That means your disclosure must be honest and genuine, and motivated by wanting to disclose misconduct. Your disclosure will not be ‘in good faith’ if you have any other secret or unrelated reason for making the disclosure.

But Rafizi Ramli is NOT a whistleblower just as Major Zaidi never was, but unlike Major Zaidi who was a military officer then bound by military rules, regulations and instructions, Rafizi Ramli is not as he is a politician and can go ahead and make all the press statements but should not expect whistleblowers protection, nor would he be exempt from libellous actions if he recklessly and unjustifiably slanders anyone.

To reiterate, there are limits to any excessiveness in exercising one's freedoms and rights, where there must be commensurate responsibility when doing so.


  1. Malaysia has deviated light-years away from a Westminster democracy, so your comparison to Australian regulations is worse than useless - it is helping to protect the guilty.

    In Malaysia the most likely effect of reporting wrong doing via official channels is :-

    1) No action will be taken against those accused of wrongdoing.

    2) The person reporting will have ended his career or lose his job.
    3) Police or other law enforcement will arrest and charge him for divulging secret information or threatening the security of the country
    4) Similar action will be taken against his family members.

    The above are not speculations - they have befallen Malaysians who have reported misconduct in Government via "proper channels".

    1. there is a line in the sand that the scrupulous must observed, uphold and respect - seemingly only the sons of Karpal Singh are observing these

    2. And that is why, the Karpal Singhs and clan, while they make great opposition speeches (and I value them for that) , have been totally ineffective over the decades at exposing actual specific wrong doing in government.

  2. Rafizi has made some very serious disclosures on possible severe misconduct by people in power.

    Ktemoc , instead is just focused on attacking Rafizi.

    Methinks he may be helping to protect the Corrupt people in authority.

    1. methinks you in your angry anti me, wakakaka, have failed to read and intelligently discern, but could only & want only to attack me mindlessly

  3. In fact, the Australian framework that you quote - the Australian Corporations Act 2001 (15 year old act)is widely considered to be inadequate in providing protection to whistleblowers in Australia.

    Actual cases of Australian whistleblowers have revealed serious repercussions including loss of jobs, destruction of careers within the organisation as well as career prospects in the industry.

    The Australian law is NOT to be taken as a world-class standard. Simply a law biased towards protecting EMPLOYERS.

  4. i am on the same page with kt. no one has the right to claim freedom of expression as an absolute defence when abusing it. freedom of expression coexists with social responsibility which is placed on the expressor/writer. it cannot be allowed to be used as a vehicle for abuse. if there is an abuse of freedom of expression, the culprit must be punished.

  5. as penang hockein lang will say ah moc 'tit kanna sai aneh' or 'ang mo tit' which is not surprising being educated down under,
    not taking sides here but monster expound valid points, if only our institutions are half as independent as what you have down under otherwise a whistleblower here will only be embarking on a suicide mission, the odds are stacked heavily against him, but thanks all the same for highlighting the difference between a snitch and a whistleblower

  6. Is it abuse of freedom of expression to expose Billion US Dollar (not Ringgit Malaysia)corrupt activities in high places , hidden under layers of protection of the Official Secrets Act, when no National Defence or Intelligence secrets are involved ?

    In my book, a Big Fat NO !

    Yes, it takes a lot of courage to expose it, when the person runs the risk of serious legal punishment.

    I salute the Whistleblower !

    1. so then.. you have to defend and must prove that abuse has not taken place.

    2. The only currency value I recognise in such a case is the Truth.

      If the person is exposing the Truth of such Mega corruption or misuse of power, there is no such abuse of Freedom of Expression to expose it.

      If what is claimed is not true, then only it is abuse.

      The only exception I make is in the case of military secrets, where I can allow that sometimes it is not right to expose information even when the Misconduct is true.

      I still bear in mind the case of the M-2 Bradley.

      Today it is recognised as one of the most effective and deadly armoured fighting vehicles in the world.

      Its original design version was chock full of defects which would have made it near useless, and dangerous to its occupants in battle. The officer appointed to audit its progress went through the "Proper Channels" and was met with Cover Ups and inaction.
      He finally went public with it - to Congress and the Press.
      He was transferred instantly to a lonely outpost in Northern Alaska.
      But the M2 Bradley only became the famous armoured vehicle it is today, thanks to his Whistleblowing.

    3. it is an abuse when there is no accuracy and fairness. it is an abuse when it is being used as a smokescreen, for the real importance is for me to be the kingmaker. it is an abuse when the objective is to overthrow the government of the day via undemocratic means. it is a crime to stir up enmity and to pose a threat to public order. the list is not exhaustive...

  7. 1. whatever freedom must have limit. bila kepala dah pecah sudah terlambat.
    2. whistle-blower - kalau informasi salah sendiri tanggung tapi dapat reward sekiranya dibuktikan betul.

  8. Malaysia is one of the Most Corrupt countries in the World.

    Last month, Time Magazine listed 1MDB among the top 10 Mega corruption scandals in the World today.

    The culture of corruption right at the top has to be broken.
    One of the most important ways to break that is break the culture of secrecy and the culture of impunity around government decision making.

    It must be exposed to the light.

    I salute Rafizi for his courage.

  9. Malaysia is one of the most corrupted countries in the world, eh? The Americans are clean. An economy worth more than US16.0 trillion a year has no or little corruption compared to Malaysia. Wakakaka... So, Time Magazine, what are you suggesting? Perhaps, the Americans should bomb Malaysia and rebuilt it again?

    In a Company, who prepares proposals? Who prepares and presents the Board Papers? Who prepares the Minutes of Board Meeting and Board Resolutions? Who prepares a Circular Board Resolution when there is an urgent commercial decision to be resolved but not previously discussed at the Board Meeting?

    Let’s assume all that the CEO has done is legit and intra vires his power and his limit of authority. But hold on: Has the CEO explained and told everything? Has the CEO briefed his Chairman and Board Members/Advisors the truth? Has the CEO withheld or misrepresented any material information?

    Now, 1 MDB is a good Company. It has got an excellent business model. Yes, granted, it is over-geared. However, the Company has been undergoing a rationalization programme, and its future outlook is now clear. Move on Arul Kanda. Unleashed its potential and bring it to new heights and frontiers.

    1MDB is a monument of corruption? So are Bakun Dam and many others? I am already experiencing hearing fatigue of scandal and fraud especially in 1MDB lah! We should be building robots and incorruptible computers to become MPs and ADUNs and CEOs. Wakakaka...

    Rafizi Ramli is smart but he is hasty and lacks wisdom. If he goes to prison then he becomes a smart-arse.

    1. "1 MDB is a good Company. It has got an excellent business model. " wakakaka....

      Tell us what 1MDB has actually achieved for all the borrowed money.

      Flipping original Government land (Sungai Besi TUDM Base) over to China investors to repay debts doesn't count.

      Selling IPP Power Station crown jewels to China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) doesn't count.

      It was bad enough for Mahatiu to create the IPPs with their lopsided profit-guaranteed contracts, now the IPPs are owned by CHINA CHINESE (not even Chinese Malaysian citizens).

      Jamal Ikan Bakar did not make a single squeak of noise on the sale to China Chinese - no doubt kenyang from his projects....

      Borrowing money is not bad in itself.
      When I was young, I borrowed money to buy my first car.
      Later I borrowed money to buy a house for my family home.
      Along the way I borrowed money to expand my business.

      Always the money borrowed was for a good reason, always there was something very worthwhile gained in return, and always within my means.

      What worthwhile gain for the Malaysian people (government guaranteed loans !) exactly has 1MDB gained in return ?

      Making Jho Loh rich doesn't count.

    2. Buy a vacant land at market price. Strong demand for commercial property. Sell high with commercial development and building approval with high plot ratio. Speculative buying or to develop or to flip to other investors. Willing buyer and willing seller at arms-length basis for IPPs. Projected high energy demand for Southeast Asian market. Good for the construction industry. Good for the oil and gas sector. Good for the Job market. New business and investment opportunities. Foreign investments and private financing growth. Good for the banking sector. Sustainable economic growth and development. Good for the country. Good for everybody. Is there anything wrong?


      "1MDB rescue plan terminated, IPIC says fund, Putrajaya liable for claims"

      Mega Taxpayer Bailout coming up for 1MDB.

      I'm very sad for Malaysia. This is my grandchildren's (and your grandchildren's if you have any) liabilities that will take a few generations to pay up.

      You need to stop believing the Horse-shit being dished out by Al-Naji el Bogus

    4. first thing first, why it took ipic more than three years to declare that it had not receive any money from 1mdb although payment had been made?

    5. under the plan/agreement ipic is supposed to service the interest. why didn't it?? however 1mdb has got enough liquid assets to do so.

    6. The direct reason for not paying the Interest , from IPIC's point of view is "Failure by 1MDB and Malaysia Government(because it was related to government-guaranteed bonds)to perform contractual obligations."
      This is impossible to cover up anymore. IPIC is a public listed company in London. They have to answer to shareholders and Auditors in London (not your kacang-putih auditors)

      The original 1MDB rescue deal was a complex, indirect debt-equity swap. IPIC would take up the repayment of interest for total Interest RM 3.8 Billion, + Principal RM 13.3 Billion in 1MDB bonds.

      In return for 1MDB would pay IPIC cash + takeover ownership in 1MDB's power assets.

      1MDB instead has sold Edra IPP assets to China General Nuclear Power Corporation. There is nothing left for the IPIC Arabs.

      For the cash - 1MDB certainly paid out money , but to Aabar BVI - a front company (the False Aabar) registered in the former pirate haunt of Cayman Islands (Pirates of the Caribbean - how appropriate). Absolute NOTHING to do with Aabar PJS (the Real Aabar)

      Why did IPIC not declare up front they never received the money ?
      I don't know, but the most obvious reason is some Senior Management people in Aabar were part of the fraud.
      Facts are facts - No money was paid to Aabar PJS (the Real Aabar)
      WSJ says the part of the money ended up in Rosmah's son's movie company. Who knows if it is true ? It must be investigated. Cannot buat tak tahu.

      Tepuk sebelah tangan takkan berbunyi !

      Very likely both Senior people in 1MDB and Aabar were accomplices in fraud to swindle the Rakyat of RM 4.2 Billion.
      One side alone cannot carry out such a fraud.

      Switzerland, UK, Singapore are all investigating this fraud, but Malaysia AG Apandi the Washing-Machine has closed the case in Malaysia.

      Was the 1MDB CEO at the time (not Arul Kanda - so he's clear on this) a lone rogue operator, or was he acting on instruction of 1MDB Chairman of Board of Advisors al-Naji el-Bogus ?

      He certainly did not consult his Board of Directors.

    7. Hello Monsterball... don't rush la.. Sabar dulu. Jangan gopoh macam RR. Wakakaka..

      Yes, 1MDB will pay the RM50.0 million soonest to honour the guarantee. I am sure there will be a reasonable notice given to the guarantor to pay. If 1MDB did not pay, after the expiry of the notice, then it will be a different story.

      At present, 1MDB has got more than sufficient cash. So, 1MDB please pay and move on.

      I suppose 1MDB will opt for legal suit against IPIC for breach of covenant/contract, and also to invite the former CEO of 1MDB for a cup of tea.

    8. First of all, the Interest due payable TODAY is USDollar $ 50 Million - not RM, so it is 4.2 x the amount.
      Sure, 1MDB can pay, or Kerajaan Malaysia can pay.

      The full dispute is another matter altogether.

      The total dispute with the IPIC deal is USDollar $ 1 Billion in future interest + USDollar $ 3.5 Billion Principal.

      For the total exposure, I suppose, there may still be time for horse trading.

      But IPIC has already fired its public shot, declaring 1MDB and Malaysia Government in breach of contract, so they are no longer bound by the contract.

      An official filing to the London Stock Exchange is no laughing matter. It will not be kautim-ed easily.

      Maybe Al-Naji El-Bogus will have to make an
      emergency trip to UAE to kiss some Arab anuses.

  10. A small part of the 1MDB fraud will be exposed in international financial markets over the next few days...impossible to cover up now.

    Malaysia claims it paid Billions of Dollars to IPIC subsidiary Aabar BVI. IPIC also gets a debt-ownership swap in 1MDB's power subsidiaries.

    In return IPIC pays for the 1MDB bond interest and future principal payments.

    Aabar BVI has never been listed as an IPIC subsidiary, and it was wound up in 2015.

    USD $ 50 Million interest payment is due tomorrow.
    IPIC says it never received the Aabar payments, and hence will not pay up the interest.

    1MDB and Malaysia (because it is a government-guaranteed bond) will soon be in default. The Ringgit may drop like a stone in the next week or so.

    With oil below $ 50 a barrel, the Saudis are unlikely to step in to help Najib.

    Will it be Malaysian taxpayers to foot the bill again ?

    Don't blame Tony Pua and Rafizi. They exposed it back in 2014, when nobody would listen.

    We need to ask Najib why he fired KPMG auditors when they asked too many questions on the Aabar transactions.

  11. Teoh Beng Hock was subject to intense interrogation day and night, and finally ended up Dead for an investigation over RM 2 thousand invoices.

    1MDB is involved in questionable deals involving RM 4.2 Billion paid into false bank accounts.
    And nothing is happening with the people who are likely accomplices in the fraud. They are all walking around free as a bird, living in luxurious houses, flying in and out First Class or on Perdana One.

    1. it is ok.. 1mdb has cash today of more than usd1.3 billion.. boleh kowtim this issue..

  12. The public exposure of the fraud related to IPIC is a big deal....because it cannot be buried

    by using the OSA,
    accusing people of abusing freedom of expression
    blocking websites due to "violation of national laws"
    arresting people under SOSMA for "activities detrimental to Parliamentary democracy."
    Apandi ordering investigations closed down.

    Al-Naji El-Bogus will need some Real World Problem solving , not just Brute Power to sort this one out.