Daily Express
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Established since 1963
Sex Harassment Act needed

Published on: Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Penampang Umno Wanita called on the Government to formulate a "Sexual Harassment Act" to fully address sexual harassment cases either at workplaces or public.

Its Chief Noraini Idris said there is need to create such an Act in the country so that any sexual conduct committed could be taken action against under the specific provision without referring to certain code of legislation or other relevant Acts.

"At the moment, there is no Act in our Malaysian law specifically handling sexual harassment offences where the victims are usually women.

"All crime offences including the sexual harassment offences and sexual misconduct have been included into one Act which is the Penal Code.

"Therefore, we are putting this as our main motion to propose for a 'Sexual Harassment Act' to be drafted and tabled in Parliament as such provision would fully benefit the people, especially the women and children," she said.

Noraini, a lawyer said this when opening the 11th delegates meeting of Umno Penampang Wanita here on Monday. A total of 135 delegates attended the meeting.

Also present were Umno Kudat Wanita Chief Datuk Aminah Ambrose representing the Sabah Umno Wanita and the Umno Penampang Wanita main committee in the meeting.

By having the special Act to address sexual harassment offences, Noraini said relevant authorities would not face much difficulty in charging the culprits.

In addition, Noraini said the proposed Act could provide some kind of solace to the victims and would make them feel secure and believe that justice will prevail.

On the second motion on education, she said the wing also urged the Public Service Department (JPA) and relevant agencies to expedite efforts of coordinating housing and rural teachers allowances between the peninsula and Sabah/Sarawak .

She said it would solve the predicament faced by teachers posted to rural areas in Sabah as well as narrow the gap between teachers posted in Sabah/Sarawak and the peninsula.

As for the third motion on politics, Noraini said the wing has agreed to give its fullest support for Wanita Umno to be given a special seat for a post of Umno Malaysia Vice President.

"We believe the time has come for such motion to be seriously looked into as the number of members in the wing has reached 1.3 million, and recognition of Wanita Umno as the backbone of the party, as declared by the party President Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak in the Umno General Assembly, last year.

"Also, this motion is also in line with the Article 3.4 under rules and regulations of Umno Wanita which is to achieve 30 per cent women's involvement in decision-making and development of the nation," she said.

On another note, Noraini also called on the delegates to continue giving support, dedication and commitment to community-based and welfare programmes carried out by the wing.

She said the wing also needs the delegates' participation and cooperation to ensure all programmes benefiting the women and society in Penampang worked out well.

Among the programmes that have been done, she said, are charity visit to elderly and special people and children in all branches, learning self-defense techniques for women, sewing and sewing beads courses, organising breaking of fast with the grassroots and distribution of aid to fire victims at Kg.Peringatan, Kepayan.