Two BFM 89.9 employees have been fired following a month-long investigation into sexual harassment claims listed in a widely-circulated anonymous letter
In a media statement released late last night, 7 January, BFM 89.9 founder Malek Ali said the move comes after the independent investigating committee presented their results of the investigation to a board panel comprising current and former non-executive independent directors of BFM (the Board) late last week.
The Board, in turn, have communicated its decisions to the BFM management.
"In respect of the allegations of sexual harassment, two employees have been served termination letters for misconduct," Malek wrote in the statement.
"The Board has determined that there is sufficient evidence to warrant this course of action. The BFM management team acknowledges that more could have been done to proactively gather evidence so that such misconduct could have been addressed in a more timely manner."
Malek also noted that no police report was made in regards to the rape allegation, as the victim did not wish to escalate the issue at the time
"[T]he BFM management team was first made aware of this [rape] allegation in May 2017. Immediately upon receiving the complaint, the BFM management team commenced an investigation and took the highest form of disciplinary action by terminating the employment of the accused employee," wrote Malek.
"The BFM management team did not make a police report as the complainant did not wish to escalate the matter at the time."
Moving forward, the BFM management says it is "committed to improving its structure for employees to report any grievances" they may experience
"Complaints will be handled impartially, and it is our intention to have this structure in place within four weeks. A review of BFM's existing internal policies and guidelines is also underway," Malek explained.
"Our goal is to ensure that our employees feel assured that they work in a safe environment. As part of this review, we'll be instituting training and awareness programs for all employees; these will clearly lay out the parameters of acceptable and unacceptable conduct in the workplace, and the consequences for transgressions."
Following the release of the statement, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh has urged BFM to lodge a police report against the employees who have been sacked
"The termination of these employees over the said rape and sexual harassment allegations indicates that there is possibly some truth to the said allegations which would certainly expose the culprits to criminal liability," he wrote in a statement on his Facebook page.
"This is a very serious matter which must be addressed immediately and BFM must take the necessary steps to reveal the outcomes and evidence gathered from the said internal investigations to the police for the necessary action to be taken," the DAP National Legal Bureau chairman added.
"A failure to do so may amount to the withholding of such evidence on BFM's part."