‘Address sexual harassment’


Different, not less: Rina (left) admiring a painting by disabled trainee Siti Hartini Darwis during a visit to Taman Sinar Harapan Ziyad Zolkefli in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The Women, Family and Community Development Minister has condemned the recent sexual harassment incidents involving women stopped by policemen at roadblocks.

Datuk Seri Rina Harun urged the police to take this matter seriously.

“Such horrendous acts will not be taken lightly, especially as they involve members of an enforcement agency.

“I urge the police to investigate so that the victims are given the appropriate defence and the perpetrators prosecuted, if found guilty.

“In handling this issue, I hope all parties respect each other and do not question the credibility of the Royal Malaysian Police Force, which has sacrificed a lot to ensure public order and security in the country.

“One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch, ” she said in a statement yesterday.

The first incident involved a woman in Penang, who claimed that a policeman had asked for her phone number when she was stopped at a roadblock. He later contacted her to get acquainted.

The other incident involved another woman who claimed police personnel had inappropriately criticised her for not wearing a bra when she was stopped at a roadblock in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur.

Bukit Aman Integrity and Standard Compliance Department (JIPS) director Comm Datuk Zamri Yahya said investigations were underway and the policemen involved had been identified.

Rina noted that the ministry was committed in its efforts to enact a special legislation related to sexual harassment, with a draft currently under review by the government.

“This legislation is very important and complementary to existing laws so that sexual harassment can be addressed more effectively and victims can be protected, regardless of gender, ” she added.

She called on Malaysians to file a report if faced with any form of sexual harassment.

“The ministry is ready to help and victims can channel complaints through Talian Kasih 15999 and its WhatsApp line 019-261 5999, which operates 24 hours a day.

“Let us continue to practise respect for one another and work together to combat acts of sexual harassment and eliminate all forms of violence and gender-based discrimination, ” she said.

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