Speed up tabling of Sexual Harassment Bill, Sabah lawyers tell govt
For illustration purpose only
19 Nov 2021
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Law Society (SLS) have called on the Malaysian Government to expedite the tabling of the Sexual Harassment Bill in Parliament to provide better awareness and protection to the victims of such incidents.
Its president Roger Chin and chairperson of SLS Women and Children’s Rights Sub-Committee Datin Mary Gomez said such legislation is crucial and must provide platforms where complainants are protected from reprisal.
They said it is also so that victims are able to stand up for themselves and against the alleged perpetrator without the fear of being further harassed or intimidated.
“All complaints of harassment or sexual harassment to the authorities should be dealt with swiftly and victims should be treated with respect at all times. There should be no further delay in tabling a bill of such public importance.
“SLS also calls for greater awareness about what harassment and sexual harassment are, its impact on survivors and society in general, and recommends the provision of suitable and robust support systems for those who have experienced emotional and psychological distress as a result of sexual harassment,” they said in a joint statement today.
SLS also revealed that it has been working with the Association of Women Lawyers to develop standard operating procedures that law firms in Sabah can put in place to ensure that the legal workplace is a conducive and safe one for all stakeholders.
Other than that, it has also developed its own policies about handling instances of harassment and sexual harassment in the legal profession here, wherein, complaints of harassment and sexual harassment against lawyers in Sabah will be dealt with as misconduct under section 12B of the Advocates Ordinance.
“This is a follow up to the launching of SLS’s and Malaysia’s first Charter for the Advancement of Women in the legal profession as well as for any professions on May 18 which includes provisions encouraged at establishing fair and transparent sexual discrimination and harassment complaints processes.”