The Sexual Harassment Bill will not be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat next month as planned because the results of a just-completed feasibility study are still under scrutiny, it was stated today.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said the scrutiny was necessary to ensure that the proposed law would be comprehensive and cover a wide scope.
“We have received the report of the study and will begin consultations with NGOs and victims of sexual harassment.
“Sexual harassment takes place not only in the workplace but also at institutions and other places including the home. We want to ensure that the proposed law is really beneficial,” Yeoh told a press conference after taking a look at the ongoing repair of facilities at Sekolah Menengah Sains Seri Puteri in Kuala Lumpur .
The work is being carried out with an allocation from the office of the Segambut Member of Parliament. Yeoh is the Segambut MP.
However, she added, the Sexual Harassment Bill would be tabled at a Dewan Rakyat session this year. The Dewan Rakyat sessions this year are scheduled for March 11 to April 11, July 1 to July 18, and Oct 7 to Dec 5.
Yeoh had said in October last year that the proposed law would be formulated to address sexual harassment at the workplace and the outcome of a feasibility study would be the basis for drawing up the bill.
On Sekolah Menengah Sains Seri Puteri, she said she would write to the Education Ministry to secure the assurance that the site would be retained for a school and not used for some other development.
“We have seen many school sites making way for other development. An example is Sekolah Menengah Perempuan Bukit Bintang, where the Pavilion shopping mall now stands.
"Sekolah Menengah Sains Seri Puteri is adjacent to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Maxwell, which is also in the Segambut parliamentary constituency. I hope no one targets to develop this strategic area,” she said.
During her visit to the school, Yeoh saw maintenance work being done on the water tank and pumphouse and the installation of 10 ceiling fans, involving a cost of RM10,809.
On another matter, she welcomed the proposal of National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) director-general Zulkifli Abdullah that parents of children involved in drug abuse be required to attend counselling.
Many quarters only focus on the children in the case of drug abuse when the people around them, including neighbours and school authorities, also have a role to play, Yeoh said.
Editor's note: The earlier headline of this Bernama article had stated that the tabling of the bill had been "deferred". It was clarified that this is not a deferment as the ministry has previously stated the bill is to be tabled in one of three 2019 sittings.