Bill on setting up of Children's Commission to be tabled in Parliament soon, says Azalina

KUALA LUMPUR: A specific Act for the setting up of an independent Children's Commission, which is a continuation of the appointment of the Children's Commissioner, is expected to be presented in Parliament soon, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) said the draft of the Bill is currently being formulated by the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department together with Suhakam and the Attorney General's Chambers.

"Once the draft law is approved, the current office of the Children's Commissioner under Suhakam will be an independent office of the Children's Commissioner," she said while tabling the motion to debate the Suhakam Annual Report 2020 today (June 12).

Aside from that, Azalina said that various other reforms will also be introduced in the near future, including the proposed amendments to the Whistleblower Protection Act 2011 and the establishment of the Malaysian Ombudsman through the enactment of a special law.

"The government also does not forget the role of the Parliamentary Special Select Committees that implement the review and balance process for each of the government's policies related to human rights.

"This is especially through the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Human Rights, Elections, and Institutional Reforms chaired by William Leong (PH-Selayang), as well as the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Women, Children, and Community Development chaired by Yeo Bee Yin (PH-Puchong).

"As a former chairman of a Parliamentary Special Select Committee, I believe that it is one of the most effective bodies in successfully implementing the nation-building agenda and strengthening democracy," she said.

Furthermore, she said that the government was also in the midst of finalising the proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution in a more comprehensive manner, to enable children born abroad to Malaysian mothers to gain automatic Malaysian citizenship.

"I also appreciate the cooperation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in understanding the legal complexities of this matter and providing appropriate support to the efforts.

"The government is resolving it according to the existing legal processes," said Azalina.

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