Possible Cover-Up in Sex Predator Case

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Sexual harassment law to focus on those who silence complaints, says Hannah Yeoh.

Authorities are now looking into the possibility of a cover-up of the sexual harassment cases involving a department head in a Klang Valley hospital, says Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh.

She said this was because complaints were lodged against the department head but no action was taken.

There were already laws under the Penal Code to deal with the crime of sexual harassment, said Yeoh, but she added that for the cases in this hospital, there was also a need to investigate a possible cover-up.

“In this particular case, it is about who covered up (the complaints).”

Two representatives from her ministry, she said, would be sitting on the independent inquiry body set up by the Health Ministry to monitor the proceedings of the investigation.

Last week, The Star carried a front-page exposé on a “sex predator” doctor in a Klang Valley hospital who allegedly sexually abused the housemen there.

Yeoh also said there was “urgency” to set in place proper legislation to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace following the report.

“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.

On the proposed Gender Equality Bill by the previous administration, the Segambut MP said the next step forward was to consult religious authorities in drafting the Bill to take cultural norms into account.

Her ministry, Yeoh said, was not only looking at promoting gender equality with this Bill but also examining how to address the issue of discrimination as a whole.

“We are looking at not just on gender (discrimination) but also discriminating against people on other grounds,” she said, adding that they were closely examining the anti-discriminatory aspects of the Bill.

All department heads in government mi­­nistries should also undergo a gender sensitisation course, she said. – The Star