KUALA LUMPUR: A deputy director of the Higher Education Ministry’s foreign students one-stop centre has become the first to be charged under the 10-year-old Whistleblower Protection Act.
Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) deputy director Wafiy Abd Aziz, 35, is charged under Section 10(3)(b) of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 (Act 711). He pleaded not guilty.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) charged him in the Sessions court here yesterday with inciting his superior to sack a whistleblower who exposed them to the anti-graft body.
He was accused of inciting then EMGS chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamed Shariff to sign a termination of employment document against the whistleblower, then EMGS chief executive officer Shahinuddin Shariff, as retaliation for having exposed the accused’s improper misconduct to MACC on Jan 9 this year.
As a result, Shahinuddin who had been on EMGS’ board since 2019, lost his job.
Wafiy was alleged to have committed the offence at the EMGS office in Jalan Mayang Sari here.
Under the Act, it is an offence of inciting or permitting another person to take or threaten to take detrimental action for any reason under subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii).
If found guilty, the accused can be sentenced to a fine of not more than RM100,000 or imprisonment of not more than 15 years or both.
Presiding judge Azman Ahmad set bail at RM15,000 and the accused would have to report to the nearest MACC office once every month.
Wafiy’s wife posted bail.
Wafiy, who has also been charged under Section 23 of the MACC Act for abuse of power in July this year, was asked to surrender his passport and reminded not to tamper with or disturb the prosecution’s witnesses until the trial was completed.
Earlier, the lawyers of the accused asked that the judge let him remain in court until the media crowd outside had dispersed, stating that “the media play may taint his bright future”.
But Judge Azman said it was beyond his jurisdiction to do that.
The accused was represented by a team of three lawyers from Messrs Salehuddin Saidin. MACC’s team of prosecutors was led by Afif Ali.
The next mention for the case was set for Oct 20.
Last January, EMGS chairman Abdul Rahman had pleaded not guilty to a charge of money laundering at the Sessions court in Johor Baru.
Abdul Rahman is also facing three charges of criminal breach of trust involving RM178,000 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions court.
EMGS, formed in 2012, is a company under the purview of the Higher Education Ministry that operates a one-stop-centre for international student services together with the Immigration Department.
It is the main body managing the movement of international students in Malaysia including by facilitating the processing of their visas and has a one-stop centre for such matters.