KOTA KINABALU: Sexual harassment goes against government efforts to empower women in Sabah.
A concerted effort is therefore needed to stamp it out altogether, said Warisan Kota Kinabalu Wirawati division chief, Vivian Thien, here today.
She pressed for action after the alleged sexual harassment of a young girl on Facebook last week.
Sexually derogatory slurs on the FB account courted criticism from netizens.
“It is 2020, yet many still view sexual harassment lightly. Stern action must be taken by the police as I was made to understand the victim has made a police report.”
Sexual harassment is unacceptable in this Sabah Baru era, said Vivian, pointing out that it goes against every effort made by the Sabah government to empower women.
“After May 2018, a lot has been done to acknowledge the contribution of women and the empowering of women is continuing.”
“For example, after 24 years, Sabah finally had her second woman Deputy Chief Minister when Datuk Christina Liew was appointed in 2018.
“Sabah also has many senior civil servants who are women, like Attorney General Datuk Zaleha Rose and her deputy Datuk Nor Asiah.”
She also said that four ministries have Permanent Secretaries who are women, the highest ranked civil service position in a Ministry.
They are Masnah Matsalleh (Local Government and Housing), Dr Mariana Tinggal (Agriculture and Food Industry), Jasmine Teo (Education and Innovation) and Datuk Janet Chee (Health and People’s Wellbeing).
“We also have Gwendolen Vu, a woman who heads Sabah’s Economic Planning Unit.
“In fact, Sabah surpassed the national target of having 30 per cent women in leadership roles when it appointed women to 40 per cent of senior government posts.”
Vivian said in this respect the enforcement authorities must play a role to continue the efforts of the Sabah government.
“I want to see action taken by law enforcers immediately,” she said, referring to the sexual harassment case.