Calling co-workers 'sayang', 'dear' at work is sexual harassment, says Public Service Commission

PETALING JAYA: Office trysts or referring to colleagues as "sayang" or "dear" can land a civil servant in hot water, according to the latest government circular sighted by a Malay daily.

The Public Service Commission circular dated April 7 stated that using these words on colleagues had been classified as a form of sexual harassment.

Sinar Harian also reported that physical sexual harassment included actions such as touching, holding, molesting, kissing, pinching and hugging.

Also on the list is "sexting", which is sending lewd text messages on various platforms, including Whatsapp, had been classified as visual sexual harassment.

The circular, which was issued by the commission's promotion and disciplinary division, said those guilty of the offences could face disciplinary action under Regulation 4A of the Public Officers Regulations (Conduct and Discipline) 1993.

At the same time, the circular also stated that a victim, when lodging a report, should detail what they went through due to the harassment, such as feeling insulted and emotional or mental distress.

The complaint should also include the time, date and place of the incident.

Among the listed punishments to be determined by the Disciplinary Board are demotions, revoking of emoluments and termination.

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