Friday, January 27, 2023

Senior Officer At Wildlife Department Probed Over Sexual Harassment And Misappropriation Of Funds

NewsSenior Officer At Wildlife Department Probed Over Sexual Harassment And Misappropriation Of...

A senior officer at the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) is currently being investigated over claims of sexual harassment and misappropriation of funds.

The entire saga began with a recent Facebook post by the man featuring 3 of his female colleagues and called them “my b*tches”.

The man later issued an apology but his comment prompted a former colleague to step forward and expose the misconducts he did.

According to the netizen, Carolina Zu, the ex-colleague who had tendered her resignation in 2019, took to Facebook to share the reason of her resignation and the toxic work environment under the senior officer’s management.

Source: Facebook

“If anyone has ever wondered why I never complained or said anything about my horrible time at the Wildlife Rescue Unit. Guess what? I did and no one cared, even after Diana took her own life working for this hell of an organisation.” the former colleague said.

In the 4-page resignation letter dated 5 July 2019 and addressed to the department’s director, she said the senior officer had fostered a “tense and hostile work environment” and it seemed to have continued on.

In addition, she said that name-calling was normal and he often send inappropriate WhatsApp messages to their staff members’ group chat, as well as individually, calling them ‘stupid’, ‘b*tch’, or with derogatory terms.

Source: Facebook

The senior officer had also made the employees post a selfie every morning to “enhance camaraderie” and they are required to do it even on off days. Anyone who did not was declared “not a team player”.

At the same time, the former colleague also detailed the various instances where the senior officer had allegedly been involved in misappropriating funds which are meant for SWD’s Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU). The funds were being used to entertain guests and staff instead of on rescue operations.

According to Carolina, employees often had to pay out of pocket on missions too.

She added that the department owed one of her colleagues approximately RM10,000 and the debt remained unsettled when he left the company in 2018.

The issue had alerted the public and a coalition of 38 civil society organisations and 289 individuals are now calling for an investigation to be conduct against the senior officer in government department in Sabah.


Meanwhile, the State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Jafry Ariffin had responded to the matter and said they view this issue seriously and that disciplinary action will be taken against the senior officer for his remarks on Facebook.

He said the department is looking into allegations of misappropriation of funds although said that matter had been previously investigated and there were no complaints by donors over the use of funds.

“The ministry will never compromise and will take stern action against any staff who takes advantage and abuses their position.” Jafry Ariffin stressed.

The Sabah Wildlife Department director said the senior officer had been relieved of his duties.

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