The multi-agency probe into allegations of sexual harassment involving a department head in a Klang Valley hospital will also look into victims’ claims of a cover-up.
According to The Star, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said this was because of claims that no action was taken after victims lodged complaints against the department head.
"In this particular case, it is about who covered up (the complaints).
"The victims claimed they reported to the authorities but there had been no action. We are looking into that," she was reported as saying at a Bukit Kiara Hikers group picnic yesterday.
Yeoh added that two representatives from her ministry will sit on the independent inquiry body set up by the Health Ministry to monitor the proceedings of the investigation.
Sexual Harassment Act
The deputy minister also stressed that the case underscored the “urgency” of introducing proper legislation to prevent workplace sexual harassment.
“The Sexual Harassment Act has been talked about for some time, but now with the case involving the Health Ministry, we feel there is a sense of urgency to quickly legislate (the prevention of) sexual harassment,” she said.
Last Sunday, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had promised an investigation into the allegations, which were first exposed by The Star.
The independent inquiry body was set up two days after. Later on Tuesday, The Star quoted sources who said the orthopaedics department head was put on indefinite leave following the reports against him.
The English-language daily had previously interviewed several house officers from the hospital who spoke of their experiences with the accused, who they claim would use his authority and power to target young female doctors.
One house officer further alleged that no action was taken despite her lodging a police report on the harassment last October.