Malaysian radio station BFM 89.9 has fired 2 people after a letter alleging rape and sexual harassment went viral

Malaysian radio station BFM 89.9 has responded to allegations that two of its employees sexually harassed colleagues in the office.
Facebook/BFM 89.9

A Malaysian business and current affairs radio station says it has sacked two employees, after a letter alleging sexual harassment was widely circulated online.

On Monday (Jan 7), BFM 89.9 founder Malek Ali said that an independent investigation committee found there was “sufficient evidence to warrant this course of action”.

He also said that the management of BFM acknowledged that “more could have been done to proactively gather evidence so that such misconduct could have been addressed in a more timely manner”.

The allegations were made public when a letter purportedly written by an employee at the station was circulated via email last year.

In the letter, the anonymous writer claimed that two “influential” men in the company had sexually harassed women via text messaging and stalking.

“BFM’s top management knows about it and has had meetings about it but does nothing,” the letter alleged.

“Please help me. Do something about this. No one will believe me,” the writer said.

Employee sacked following rape allegations in 2017

The author of the letter also alleged that a woman had been raped at an “after-work party” in the office, but the station “didn’t do anything to protect this woman, and simply fired the man”.

“This predatory culture is widespread in the station,” the writer added.

In response to this, Malek Ali said that BFM’s management was first made aware of the rape allegation in May 2017.

An investigation was carried out “immediately upon receiving the complaint” and the accused employee was dismissed, he said, explaining that no police report was made “as the complainant did not wish to escalate the matter at the time”.

On Tuesday, DAP MP for Bukit Gelugor, Ramkarpal Singh, urged the station to submit the evidence it has gathered to the police, The Star reported.

“The termination of these employees over the said rape and sexual harassment allegations indicates that there is possibly some truth to the allegations which would certainly expose the culprits to criminal liability,” he was quoted as saying.

“In the circumstances, I urge the board of BFM to lodge a police report over the matter forthwith and to assist in police investigations by disclosing their internal investigation reports to the police for the needful to be done,” he added.

Training planned for employees

In its statement on Monday, BFM said it was looking into having an improved structure for employees to report grievances. This will be in place within four weeks.

It is also reviewing its existing internal policies and guidelines, and carrying out training and awareness programmes for employees to “clearly lay out the parameters of acceptable an unacceptable conduct in the workplace, and the consequences of transgressions”.