Malaysia to table sexual harassment, social work bills by year-end

Rina (Bernama)

Rina (Bernama)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is expected to table the proposed bills on sexual harassment and recognition of social work as a profession by the end of this year.

Improvements have been made to the two bills and they will be handed over to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for its perusal, Minister Rina Mohd Harun said.

“We will try to table both bills during this year’s Parliamentary session,” she was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama at the launch of the special PENJANA incentives for target groups under the ministry’s scope, namely children, single mothers, persons with disabilities and senior citizens.

According to local reports earlier this year, the proposed Sexual Harassment Bill would provide a more comprehensive definition of sexual harassment and a more effective mechanism to lodge complaints. It will also propose remedial elements and penalties.

The proposed bill would recognise social work as a profession seeks to establish a Malaysian Social Work Profession Council to register social workers and set social work standards.

Rina said her ministry has various policies that need to be refined. They include the National Child Policy and National Policy for Senior Citizens.

“The most important aspect of these policies is its implementation. In this respect, it does not only involve the ministry but also the states due to the existence of different laws at these two levels. “The people must also understand that the laws have been created, as a whole, to benefit all,” she said.

The minister said that the matter to allow women, particularly those with young children, to continue working from home (WFH) in line with the new normal, requires further discussions involving various parties.

“Right now, WFH is being practised and this means working from home is something that can be done. However, to implement it (over the long term), further discussions are required because (only) some people can work from home while others have to go to the office,” she said.

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