Hannah Yeoh: Let cops probe PKR MP over sexual harassment claim

Yiswaree Palansamy
Hannah Yeoh speaks at the launch of the Women of Will's Community Kitchen in Kuala Lumpur May 25, 2019. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 ― Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister Hannah Yeoh has called on the public to allow police to carry out their investigation into the alleged sexual harassment report filed by a former aide to Sungai Siput MP S. Kesavan.

Yeoh lamented that such cases are rife even in politics, and called for a thorough investigation into the allegation against the Kesavan, who is from PKR.

“These sexual harassment cases happen everywhere, and we have seen last year, it happened in the medical field, in a government hospital,” she told reporters.

“We should not be surprised it happened in the political scene as well.

“This case, there are two different police reports filed, and because there are police reports, so the police must do their investigation,” Yeoh added.

Yeoh met with reporters after officiating a community kitchen here, started by the Women of Will organisation, to help single mothers and disadvantaged women become skilled bakers.

Buzz over a Perak MP allegedly sexually harassing a former aide grew following news reports of a police report filed by a woman who claimed that her ex-boss would send her Kamasutra illustrations and pornographic images.

Kesavan later admitted to being the Perak federal lawmaker accused of sexual harassment, but denied the woman’s claims.

On the developments on the government's proposed Sexual Harassment Bill, Yeoh said consultations with NGOs and other stakeholders are still ongoing, and hope to be able to table the Bill in the July Dewan Rakyat sitting.

“Consultation is ongoing now. We are still targeting July, but if there's any other timeline, we will update in the July sitting,” she said.

Past complaints have been dealt with through provisions for “sexual-related crimes” under the Penal Code.

In August last year, Yeoh said the proposed legislation aims to complement existing criminal laws related to sexual harassment by plugging loopholes that will criminalise parties that fail to act on such complaints.

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