PETALING JAYA: There is urgent need for the Sexual Harassment Bill to be tabled at the next Parliament session, especially after a woman was harassed by a police officer at a roadblock, say opposition MPs Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Hannah Yeoh.
Wan Azizah and Yeoh – who were the women, family and community development minister and deputy minister under the Pakatan Harapan administration – said it was crucial that the “long-delayed” Sexual Harassment Bill be tabled, discussed and approved in Parliament so the public, especially women and girls, would feel safer.
In a series of tweets which have now gone viral, a 24-year-old woman claimed a policeman had asked her to lift her blouse and show her body to him to avoid getting fined. She had been stopped at a roadblock along Jalan Duta.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Saiful Azly Kamaruddin said an investigation is underway.
“We deeply regret the sexual harassment incident that happened to a woman at a recent roadblock at Jalan Duta, especially since it was by a person who is supposed to be responsible for public safety, especially for women,” they said in a joint statement.
“We want this incident to be taken seriously and investigated immediately by the authorities, especially the PDRM, because the incident involved a police officer,” they added.
Wan Azizah and Yeoh also called on the government to provide more training and courses on gender sensitivity to civil servants and enforcement officers so as to prevent such incidents from happening again.
Women, family and community development minister Rina Harun had previously informed the Dewan Rakyat that the tabling of the bill was delayed partly due to the change in government with the new Perikatan Nasional administration taking over from Pakatan Harapan in March.
She was responding to Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto’s query on why the bill had taken such a long time to be finalised.