Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mass Whistleblowing Military-Style

Whistleblowing has been the flavour of corporate governance for some months now.

In the last few hours, it has been alleged that a Singapore military officer of Second Lieutenant rank sent out an e-mail to a whole bunch of individuals whistleblowing about certain things one of his more senior officers had done.

There has been no official verification about this by the Ministry of Defence in Singapore. It has also not been reported by any media yet.

But if this is true, three thoughts immediately come to mind:

a. The Second Lieutenant deserves every protection he can receive as a whistleblower. He should not be punished but he should be commended for what he has done, even if one may not necessarily agree with the manner in which the issue was reported.

b. But maybe the manner in which the issue was reported can be attributed to the circumstances the officer found himself in. For example, could it be that the issue was reported and no one acted on or looked into the issue, and the Second Lieutenant acted after he was frustrated by inaction?

c. Perhaps, it also highlights the lack of a whistleblower mechanism within the public service, which is why the e-mail ended up being sent to so many people and eventually its contents are now being disclosed and discussed in the public sphere.

I will reserve further comment on this issue until more information is known. And if this issue is untrue, I ask the reader to treat this as purely a work of fiction.

I will however add that a whistleblower mechanism can and should be put in place most organisations, especially large ones and where public money is involved.

Such a mechanism will enable individuals of these organisations to better report practices, which appear questionable. The mechanism should also provide enough space for an independent investigation of the practice.

The investigation should be carried out by a person with a reporting line to the highest-ranking person in the organisation, such as the Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel.

Dharmendra Yadav

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?


eXo said...

oh i read that complain e-mail. I think the whistle-blower (who is gg for studies) and that other guy he complained about, won't go far at all in the army. I don't think he called the SAF hotline , but iirc, he did go to his superiors 1st. But i still think he'll be faulted for breaking the chain of command. But there's no doubt the guy he's complaining about is... well, to put it crudely F**ked. This is going to be interesting ;)

Anonymous said...

I just feel sorry for the other guy. I am just a simple fellow, but all I know is this, I will never fight beside an officer who is doesnt know how to balance humanity and justice.

Can someone tell me the otherside of the story. I dont think so, you know why? Bc his father probably is a taxi driver and mother is a canteen helper.

There are no heroes here, but I know SAF culture, they really good ones will help this guy up, they will always do - a few good men.

As for the publicity seekers they are they dont need anyone to hate them, they are their worse enemies.

Good luck to them, they will need it!

Anonymous said...

Me think the AWOL Officer was used as a reason for exposing the faultline all the way up. And just trying to understand why there is this Chinese Saying that 'Quality man joins no army'(hao tia bu ta ting, hao nan bu tang ping or something liked this; pardon me for any mistake). It seems to me that the so called 'chain of command' and 'strict compliance to proper channel' for disciplinary forces are terribly at odd with democracy. They are horribly inflexible, stiffling and unreasonable, does not make sense to reasonable man; from scb.