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Monday, November 5, 2007

Keeping whistleblowers safe

The Star (5/11/2007): The first draft of the Witness Protection Bill is ready and has been circulated to the ministries and government agencies for comment.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said currently, the various ministries and agencies had their own way of protecting whistle blowers.
"We need to unify the protection and make it into an Act,” he told reporters yesterday after attending the Perak Anti-Corruption Agency Hari Raya open house here yesterday.

Nazri said the Attorney-General has distributed the bill for comments before presenting it to Cabinet and tabling it in Parliament.

On another matter, Nazri denied that the agency had an agenda against the police.

“It so happened that the cases that were reported recently involved policemen,” he said, adding that there were no problems between the agency and the police.

In his speech, Nazri said the recent crackdown by the ACA was not seasonal.

“When the agency receives information, it will act,” he said. He also gave his full backing to the ACA.

Earlier in her speech, state ACA director Samsiah Abu Bakar said the agency’s recent active and aggressive actions had made more people willing to come forward to report corruption.

“Up to Oct 31 this year, the Perak ACA received 625 pieces of information on corruption cases,” she said, adding that complainants were coming forward now instead of sending poison pen letters.

Among those present at the event were ACA deputy director-general Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed and Perak state secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim.


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