The National Oversight & Whistleblowers Centre (known by its abbreviation NOW) is a non-profit body set up to promote the cause of whistleblowers. We recognise the need to institute public-driven oversight initiatives and the role of whistleblowers in a matured society.
NOW is funded through public donation, subscription, consultancy, personal contribution and grants.
NOW is run by a small team of dedicated analysts and supported by a big team of volunteers who collectively investigate possible national scandals, analyse parliamentary, government and corporate reports, advocate change of laws to promote public driven oversight initiatives, produce oversight reports, defend whistleblowers and fight legal cases in the national interest.
Oversight and Whistleblower
Role and Responsibility
Whistleblowers play an important role in a matured society. In societies where there is a distrust of the establishments seriousness to act independently against corruption and abuse of power, whistleblowers provide the spark to fuel public opinion that can subsequently exert enough pressure for actions to be taken against corrupt public officials.
Even in a truly functioning democracy with credible public institutions, whistleblowers provide key breakthroughs that can safeguard public interests especially from within the corporate walls to avoid corporate scandals that normally would have escaped publics attention; if not highlighted by whistleblowers.
There have been various documented cases from around the world as proofs of the positive role played by whistleblowers to safeguard public interests.
The existing Whistleblowers Protection Act 2010 is currently deemed to be inadequate to encourage whistleblowers to come forward. In fact, it is considered more detrimental to whistleblowers as there are restrictions on the kind of information whistleblowers are allowed to disclose and to whom they can disclose. The outcry against the Act signifies the publicís perception that the Act is put in place to intimidate whistleblowers and was enacted hastily.
In 2012, the persons instrumental in disclosing a high level financial scandal involving the family of a senior government minister were charged in court.
The events leading up to the arrest and prosecution of the whistleblowers point to a hardening position taken by the authority against whistleblowers that necessitated a re-look at the whole framework of whistleblowers protection and oversight function in Malaysia.
Convinced that the authority is empowered by existing laws to silence future whistleblowers and the task of protecting whistleblowers can only be carried out sincerely by the civil society, a group of social activists founded NOW to focus on defending whistleblowers and promoting public driven oversight initiatives.