Ex-CJ: Govt needs to protect whistleblowers in civil service

Zaki Azmi. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former chief justice Zaki Azmi has urged the government to provide a “safe place” for whistleblowers in the civil service who report wrongdoings, as practised in the private sector.

He said the government must have a policy to protect civil servants from repercussions should they report irregularities to the authorities, including safeguarding their identity and other information about them.

“The policy must assure no action will be taken against the whistleblowers unless the information they gave is false or concocted to oppress others,” he told reporters after a seminar at the National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) today.

“If civil servants don’t report a wrongdoing, then they will be shirking their duty.”

Zaki was a guest speaker at a seminar on neutrality in the civil service which was attended by about 350 people.

In his talk, he reminded civil servants to abide by the policies of the new government in line with civil service rules.

“If you want to be a politician, then don’t be a civil servant. If you want to remain a civil servant, but then help the party you support, that is also wrong.

“We don’t follow a party but the policies of the government. You must know how to differentiate between the government and the party that leads the government,” he said.

He advised civil servants not to repeat the mistakes and wrongdoings of the past by campaigning for political parties and using government assets for such activities.

“In the past, many things were done in the name of the government but were actually to help the party,” he said.