The National Oversight and Whistleblowers Centre (NOW) was set up in August 2012 at a time when public confidence in government authorities was at an all-time low. After the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal broke out, both Rafizi Ramli and Akmal Nasir (NOW’s co-founders) realized there was a need to promote a whistleblowing culture in Malaysia.
NOW provides a “civil society alternative” to government authorities like the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police, whose reputations have been marred by numerous reports of custodial deaths as well as reports of assault and intimidation committed by armed officers. NOW strives to create a stronger whistleblowing culture in our society and to push for governance and transparency in both public and private sectors.
In terms of whistleblowing, NOW works to investigate and expose cases of corruption and the abuse of power in public office where it exists. NOW receives tips and information provided by whistleblowers and works to investigate and uncover the truth where there is substance to the disclosures.
NOW has also been providing significant oversight on the activities and expenditure of our government. For example, every year NOW reviews the Auditor-General’s Report and highlights the waste, abuse and mismanagement that is documented but not necessarily in an obvious way to the general public.
NOW takes civic education very seriously and runs a number of programs to educate the public about corruption in all its facets. NOW hosts and helps to organise regular workshops and forums for volunteers and interested citizens on various related topics.
NOW is currently designing a whistleblowing framework as a catalyst for civic engagement, particular those citizens working in the public and private sectors in Malaysia; to encourage them to consider how and in what way they might come forward to blow the whistle and help detect and prevent fraud, corruption and mismanagement.