KUALA LUMPUR, 1 Dec 2019:
A special tribunal for managing and hearing cases involving sexual harassment will be set up, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said it was part of the ministry’s plan to improve the justice system involving the issue.
“It will be included in the Sexual Harassment Act which is currently being discussed by the ministry with agencies, NGO (non-governmental organisations) and AGC, (attorney-general’s chambers),” she told reporters at a mass circumcision in Pandan parliamentary constituency here today.
She said the bill, which was supposed to be tabled in the parliament this year, is expected to be tabled next year.
This is because there are still some things that need to be decided and agreed upon such as the remedies, burden of proof and so on, she added.
Dr Wan Azizah said all these matters were important to ensure existing legal barriers were resolved and that the bill could address this issue and provide protection to the victims of sexual harassment.
“The complaint mechanism also needs to be simplified so that more victims can come forward while the remedies and penalties are given attention.
“The bill is still a priority of the ministry and will be tabled as soon as possible, certainly next year.”
Earlier, she also said the values of unity should always be nurtured and racial issues should not be allowed to fester and become a cancer that will weaken unity of the people in this country.
Dr Wan Azizah said people in the country had shared their prosperity and practised equality and openness to ensure the country’s continuous development.
“With the shared prosperity we want to ensure that no one is left behind in the country’s development.
“We can live together, there is no need to mention you are Malay, Chinese or Indian as we are all Malaysians. This is important and must be continued …as this is our future together.” she said in her speech at the Pandan parliamentary Deepavali Open House which was attended by about 500 residents of various races from around Pandan Indah.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is Pandan MP, said if there were gaps and differences they should be rectified immediately so that every one could enjoy the shared prosperity for the country to continue with its development plans.
She said the people should practise tolerance, accept the religious and racial differences, adding that promoting goodwill and unity should always be prioritised.