PETALING JAYA: Civil servants could land in hot water for using terms such as “sayang” or “dear” when speaking to colleagues as such expressions of endearment are now considered a form of sexual harassment.
This is according to a checklist on harassment and other disciplinary offences distributed to government departments and agencies by the Public Services Commission (PSC) last month.
Among the other forms of harassment listed is “sexting”, that is, the sending of indecent pictures and text messages with sexual connotations.
Extramarital affairs among civil servants will also result in disciplinary action being enforced on those involved.
The checklist was drawn up by the PSC’s promotions and discipline division aimed at refining the charges brought against a civil servant at a disciplinary hearing.
The PSC said victims who were physically harassed must specify whether they were touched, caressed, kissed, or hugged when filing a complaint to the disciplinary board.
“(Victims) must also specify if any of the above actions made them feel uneasy, insulted or disturbed,” the checklist read.
Those filing a complaint about extramarital affairs must include accurate information such as the duration of the said affair.
Apart from sexual harassment, the checklist also zoomed in on drug-related offences, going AWOL (absent without official leave), using fake medical certificates, issuing unauthorised public or social media statements and violating government procurement procedures.