KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — The Sexual Harassment Bill is expected to be tabled for the first reading in the Parliament at the end of this year, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun said based on the original plan, the bill was supposed to be tabled for first reading in March, but taking into account the recent changes in the government structure, the draft of the proposed bill needed to be tabled again for the consideration and approval of the current Cabinet.
She said this in a written reply to a question from Kasthuriraani Patto (PH-Batu Kawan) who had wanted to know when the government would amend the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code and enact the Sexual Harassment Act.
Commenting further, Rina said the ministry is in the final stage of drafting the bill.
Meanwhile, Pandan MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in a statement urged the ministry to prioritise the bill because most sexual harassment victims did not have the proper channel to make a complaint.
“This bill is necessary as the existing law only regulates sexual harassment crimes that occur in the workplace when instead it should include public space as well,” she said. — Bernama