Health Ministry removes controversial sexual harassment article from its portal

PETALING JAYA: An old Health Ministry article said to contain misguided advice on how to avoid sexual harassment in the workplace appears to have been taken offline, after it came under fire for its outdated notions.

The article titled "The emotional impact on sexual harassment victims" returned a "Tidak dijumpai" (not found) error message on the ministry's MyHealth portal as at 2pm on Tuesday (April 13).

The article, published in January 2016, had only quoted online sources as its four references.

It claimed that the causes of sexual harassment were due to physical attractiveness, unsuitable clothing style, unrestricted social interactions, a person's power and status, and culture.

It also appeared to place the blame on women and even suggested that they should avoid working overtime alone to prevent unwanted acts or attention.

The article had been criticised for promoting victim-blaming, with former deputy women, family and community development minister Hannah Yeoh commenting on its archaic views.

"I was alerted to this article. This is absolutely wrong," Yeoh had said.

Senior consultant paediatrician Datuk Dr Amar Singh HSS had also described the article as nonsensical.

"Putting all the blame on women for sexual harassment, wonder how it could be approved in the first place.

"The (Health Ministry) should remove it as soon as possible," he tweeted.

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