Wednesday 29 August 2012

Rafizi to launch whistleblower centre on Merdeka eve

Rafizi Ramli, who is facing court action for his role as a whistleblower that left the government red-faced in the National Feedlot Corporation scandal, will launch his whistleblower centre, dubbed National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW), tomorrow.

NONERafizi (left in photo), who is the centre's executive director, is to speak at the Merdeka eve launch along with Bar Council treasurer Steven Thiru and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) lecturer Maszlee Malik.

"I will be explaining our plan for the future, and hopefully, get the groundwork going on making an impact," he said when contacted.

Rafizi stressed that exposés would only be a small part of the centre's work, with greater focus to be put on law reform and oversight in relation to whistle-blowing.

Thiru is expected to speak on the legal aspects while Maszlee will speak on the Islamic perspective of whistle blowing.

Centre strives to be independent

Rafizi, who is also PKR director of strategy, conceded that while members of the public may view NOW as politically-linked, the centre would strive to be independent.

"We will try to be as independent as possible because exposé will only be a small part of our work. Most of it will be civil society work, where we set the legal frameworks and help condition society towards whistle blowing," he said.

He also expressed hope that civil society and other independent organisations would back the centre.

Rafizi was on Aug 1 charged under Section 97 of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) for disclosing NFC's financial accounts to the media.

While Malaysia does have a Whistleblower Protection Act, the law has been criticised because protection becomes void if whistleblowers reveal their information to the media.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has defended the charge against Rafizi as necessary in order to protect the integrity of the country's financial institutions.

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