Whistleblowing is defined in this policy as an attempt by an employee or stakeholder (i.e. shareholders, customers, suppliers) to report through established channels, genuine concerns about unethical behaviour, malpractices, illegal acts, failure to comply with laws and regulatory requirements, or what they believe to be a wrongdoing committed by another employee within the Company.
This policy is in line with the Section 587 of the Companies Act 2016 (“the Act”), which were intended to further enhance Corporate Governance in Malaysia, and the Whistle-blower Protection Act 2010 wherein provisions have been made to protect Company Managers and employees / Public Body officers who make disclosures on breach or non-observance of any requirement or provision of the Act or on any serious offence involving fraud and dishonesty.
Objectives of the Policy
Advanced Packaging Technology (M) Bhd. (“APT”) is fully committed to operating with integrity, with the highest standards of ethical conduct, and in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. It is in the best interest of the Company to create a workplace free of inappropriate, unlawful, and disrespectful behaviour. However, as it is not possible to guarantee that unethical conducts would not happen, we believe a culture of openness, accountability, and transparency would mitigate such situations from occurring and to immediately address such concerns as and when present.
This policy is designed to provide guidance to the employees and stakeholders to report any suspected misconduct as well as assurance that the disclosures are kept confidential. In this respect, the policy makes it clear that these concerns can be raised without fear of retaliation, victimisation, recrimination, discrimination or disadvantage. It is a formal channel that enables employees and stakeholders to raise serious concerns within the Company to allow necessary action to be taken before the situation causes further damage to the interest of the Company.
This policy aims to:
- Encourage whistle-blowers and/or their representatives to feel confident in raising disclosures in the Companies’ interest about suspected serious misconduct in the Company, without fear of reprisals or victimisation, even where the disclosures are not subsequently confirmed by an investigation.
- Provide a formal channel for employees and stakeholders to raise concerns and receive feedback on any actions taken
- Encourage transparency between Employees, Managers and Directors of the Company and provide the necessary confidence and comfort to be able to discuss key matters and issues concerning the best interest of the Company and that of all stakeholders of the Company.
- Ensure that where a disclosure proves to be well founded, the individuals responsible for such serious misconduct will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.
- Set out the Company’s procedure in handling and responding to disclosures.
The whistle-blower’s role is as a reporting party. They are not investigators or finders of fact, nor do they determine the appropriate corrective or remedial action that may be warranted. They do not have a right to participate in any investigative activities other than as requested by those who have been appointed to investigate the report.
This policy is intended to deal with serious concerns about wrongdoings such as the following, albeit non-exhaustive in nature:
- Unlawful activities such as corruption, bribery or blackmail;
- Suspected fraud or criminal offences;
- Criminal breach of trust;
- Unauthorised use of Company’s assets / money;
- Unethical behaviour or improper conduct;
- Abuse of position for any unauthorised use or for personal gain;
- Failure to comply with legal or regulatory requirement;
- Miscarriage of justice;
- Any danger to health and safety;
- Damage to the environment (e.g. pollution);
- Breach of APT’s Code of Ethics or Conduct; or non-compliance with APT’s policies and procedures;
- Sexual assault, sexual harassment, including mild annoyances;
- Conduct of unfair competition internally or externally, by using of an individual’s position or opportunity arising from/ available within APT and that the gains/ advantages of the individual are conditional on the losses of others, where the gains/ advantages are made in ways which are illegitimate or unjust;
- Deliberate concealment of any of the above matters or other acts of wrongdoing.
Protection under this Policy
All whistle-blowing reports have to be made honestly with a reasonable belief that the information and allegation are true. The Directors and Management of the Company are committed to this policy.
- This policy provides assurance that the whistle-blower, if an employee or stakeholder of the Company, shall not be subject to any action in accordance with Section 587 of the Companies Act 2016 and Whistle-blower Protection Act 2010.
- The employee shall be protected against any reprisals or retaliation and immunity from disciplinary action from the employee’s immediate superior or department head or any other person exercising power or authority over the employee in his/her employment, provided that:
- Disclosures are made in good faith;
- The employee reasonably believes and has provided such explanations that the information, and any allegation contained in the disclosure are substantially true; and
- The employee has not acted to make the disclosure for personal gain or agenda
In the event that an employee or stakeholder who have raised concerns in good faith, reasonably believed that they have been subject to retaliation as a direct consequence for making such disclosure under this Policy, they may report to the Company’s Senior Independent Director.
All concerns will be treated as private and confidential and every effort will be made not to reveal the employee’s and stakeholder’s identity if that is to be their wish.
However, the identity of the employee or stakeholder may need to be disclosed as a witness in the court of law or at any other appropriate time, if necessary.
Information about the action being taken to address the concern will be provided to the employees or stakeholders raising the concern at an appropriate time.
If an employee makes an allegation in good faith, but it is not confirmed by investigation, no action will be taken against the employee making that allegation.
However, if an employee makes an allegation in a frivolous or malicious manner or for personal gain, disciplinary action will be taken against the employee making that allegation.
- This policy encourages employees and stakeholders to provide their identity in making disclosure of any serious concern without fear of retribution.
- Although it is acceptable for employees and stakeholders to make anonymous allegations, these policies will hold less significance and weight for the Company when exercising their discretion to address anonymous allegations
- The Company may consider investigating an anonymous allegation having considered the following:
- The seriousness of the concern;
- The credibility of the concern; and
- The likelihood of confirming the concern from attributable sources
How to raise a concern
Any concern of an employee should normally be raised with the immediate superior or Head of Department. However, the most appropriate person to contact to report a concern will depend on the sensitivity of the issues and the alleged party of the malpractice. Therefore, the employees or stakeholders may utilise any of the following mechanisms as they prefer:
(1) In Writing / Mail
Whistle-blowers can write by mail to the following:
- To : Dato’ Haji Ghazali B. Mat Ariff, Senior Independent Director
- Subject : Strictly Private and Confidential
- Address : Lot 2, Jalan P/2a, Kawasan MIEL, Bangi Industrial Estate, 43650 Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The report must contain the following information:
- Type of misconduct or wrongdoings
- Name of person(s) involved
- Time, location and dates of misconduct or wrongdoings occurred
- How the misconduct or wrongdoings were perpetrated
- Other witnesses to the misconduct or wrongdoings
- Documentation or evidence where available
- The reason why they are particularly concerned about the situation
Employees and stakeholders are encouraged to express their concerns at the earliest opportunity and are welcomed to discuss their concerns with Management (whom they believe independence can be maintained if they are not involved in the reported concern) in confidence first.
Whilst employees and stakeholders will not be expected to prove the truth of the allegation that is being made, it will be necessary to demonstrate to the person contacted that there are sufficient grounds for concern.
Responsibilities and Response by the Company
Once report has been received via the aforementioned channels, it will be analysed by an appropriate independent party and may be further discussed with the relevant management team of APT to decide on the next appropriate course of action.
- The action taken by the Company will depend on the nature, and weight of the concern. Some concerns may/will be resolved by agreed action without the need for an investigation. If urgent action is required, this may be taken before any investigation is conducted.
- The appropriate independent party will contact the employee or stakeholder who raised the concern to:
- Acknowledge that the Company has received their allegation;
- Explain how the Company will handle the matter; and
- Discuss what support is available to the party who raised the concern
The Company understands that the employees or stakeholders who raised the concern needs to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed. Hence the employees or stakeholders who raised the concern will be given as much information as possible on the outcome of the investigation, subject to legal constraint.
The Company will take steps to minimise any difficulties which an employee may experience as a result of raising a concern. For instance, if an employee is required to give evidence in criminal or disciplinary proceedings, the Company will arrange for him/her to receive advice/support about the procedures.
Monitoring the Policy
The Company will maintain records of all matters raised through the Whistle-blowing Policy to facilitate on-going assessment on the effectiveness of the policy, any emerging patterns, and potential improvements.
The Company will be responsible for undertaking a formal assessment of the effectiveness of the Policy and any emerging patterns and reporting to the Chairman and Managing Director of APT.
The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for the Whistle-blowing Policy.