KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has urged the government to enact the Sexual Harassment Act as quickly as possible to punish perpetrators of sexual harassment in the work place.
Referring to a news report on the alleged incidents of housemen being bullied by their seniors and sexual harassment at a government hospital, MMA president Dr Mohamed Namazie Ibrahim said more victims had gained their strength to finally came forward and lodged complaints.
He said MMA was of the view that there may be other cases that were not reported due to fear of victim blaming and discrimination among colleagues, and some even fear they would lose their jobs.
“Malaysia does not have any law that deals specifically with sexual harassment in the work place,” he said in a statement today.
Although the Human Resource Ministry had come up with a code of practice on the prevention and eradication of sexual harassment in the workplace, he said the common opinion was that it had little impact.
“The code of practice will stay as a code of practice if there are no strict regulations enforced to punish the perpetrators or to deter the perpetuation of this behaviour.
“The media has definitely helped to shape a different perspective of this issue when public sees these young doctors, therefore we urge the government to seriously look into this matter and take necessary action to rectify this situation,” he said.
Last Sunday, The Star, in a front-page article had reported allegations that a head of orthopaedics department at a government hospital in the Klang Valley, had sexually harassed and made sexual advances against house officers under his supervision.