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Statement by 100 women, children, health and other civil society groups and individuals – objecting to Shahidan Kassim’s appointment to committee on women and children’s affairs

Statement By 100 Women, Children, Health And Other Civil Society Groups And Individuals – Objecting To Shahidan Kassim’s Appointment To Committee On Women And Children’s Affairs

We – the undersigned – strongly object to the appointment of Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to the Parliamentary Special Select Committee for Women and Children Affairs and Social Development. We note that Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim has since requested to be replaced.

In 2018, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was charged with molesting a 15 year old girl – under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017. The charges were later dropped in 2019 after the complaint was withdrawn – but Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was not acquitted.

This casts serious doubt on Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim credibility to serve on to this committee, which has the responsibility of scrutinising laws on gender based violence and child abuse.

Moreover, the Arau MP had previously objected to the formation of the parliamentary select committee on women and children.

In a time when women’s and children’s rights have been significantly set back by the pandemic, it is even more important that we appoint credible MPs, with relevant expertise and commitment to child rights and gender equality to the committee.

 

We call on:

  1. Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional to immediately rescind Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim’s appointment, and apologise for this oversight. We call on BN chairperson Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PN chairperson Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to address this.
  2. Opposition Leader Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim; Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Rina Harun; and Chair of the Select Committee for Women and Children Affairs and Social Development, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman – to object to Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim’s appointment.
  3. Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Harun to reflect on the lapses of the appointment process, and enact reforms to safeguard the integrity of the parliamentary select committees.

Malaysia has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Child Rights Convention (CRC). We have government agencies and frontliners dedicated to combat child abuse – including the Welfare Department, Royal Malaysia Police, and One Stop Crisis Centres in public hospitals. 

The appointment of Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to this select committee goes against these commitments and principles.

 

Endorsed by / Disokong oleh (100 organisations and individuals)

Women’s & Gender Equality Groups 

  1. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
  2. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  3. Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
  4. EMPOWER Malaysia
  5. Family Frontiers
  6. Inner Wheel Club of KL
  7. KRYSS Network
  8. MiWEPs – Malaysian Organisation for Development of Indian Women in Career, Entrepreneur and Professionals
  9. Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
  10. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
  11. Pertubuhan Teratak Rahmah Wanita Islam (TERATAI)
  12. Sabah Women’s Action-Resource Group (SAWO)
  13. SERAMAS
  14. SERATA
  15. Sisters in Islam
  16. Tenaganita
  17. The 111 Initiative
  18. The KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Women Division
  19. Women’s Centre for Change (WCC)

Children’s Groups 

  1. ANAK
  2. Asia Community Service
  3. Bold Association for Children with Special Needs Penang
  4. Childline Foundation
  5. ECCE Council
  6. End CSEC Malaysia
  7. Global Shepherds
  8. Malaysian Child Resource Centre
  9. Majlis Kebajikan Kanak-kanak Malaysia (MKKM)
  10. Methodist Care Centre (Sibu)
  11. National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC)
  12. New Horizons Society Early Intervention Centre
  13. Persatuan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Kajang
  14. Persatuan CHILD Sabah
  15. Persatuan Pendidikan D’wira Kuching
  16. Persatuan Pengasuh Berdaftar Malaysia
  17. Pertubuhan Pendidikan Anak Cahaya Sabah (Cahaya Society)
  18. Pertubuhan Perkhidmatan Intervensi Awal
  19. Persatuan Tadika Malaysia
  20. Persatuan Tadika Islam
  21. PS the Children
  22. SPICES Early Intervention Centre
  23. SPOT Community Project
  24. Toy Libraries Malaysia
  25. Vanguards4Change
  26. Voice of the Children
  27. Yayasan Chow Kit

 

Health Groups 

  1. Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia (FRHAM)
  2. Health Equity Initiatives
  3. Malaysian Medical Association Public Health Society
  4. Persatuan WeCareJourney
  5. PT Foundation
  6. Reproductive Health Association of Kelantan (ReHAK)
  7. Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM)

 

Other Groups 

  1. Agora Society Malaysia
  2. Aliran
  3. Amnesty International Malaysia
  4. BERSIH 2.0
  5. Beyond Borders Malaysia
  6. Buku Jalanan Chow Kit
  7. CBR Network Malaysia
  8. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
  9. GoJob MY
  10. Justice for Sisters
  11. Malaysian Association of Social Workers (MASW)
  12. Make it Right Movement (MIRM)
  13. Opis International
  14. Our Journey
  15. Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)
  16. Persatuan Kakitangan Akademik Universiti Malaya (PKAUM)
  17. Persatuan Kebajikan Biji Sawi (Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen)
  18. Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (Proham)
  19. Pusat KOMAS
  20. Sabah Human Rights Centre
  21. Sabah Reform Initiative (SARI)
  22. Sahabat Alam Malaysia
  23. Sustainable Development Network Malaysia
  24. Third World Network

 

Individuals

  1. Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
  2. Azira Aziz
  3. Azimy Wan Ahmad
  4. Datuk Dr Chiam Heng Keng
  5. Dr Chin Saw Sian
  6. Goh Siu Lin
  7. Hasan Al-Akraa
  8. Ivy N Josiah
  9. Jac sm Kee
  10. Jennifer Liew
  11. Dr Lai Suat Yan
  12. Dr Maria Rufina
  13. Dr Nawar Mani
  14. Priscilla Shim
  15. Prudence Lingham
  16. Raymund Jagan
  17. Dr Ruhana Padzil
  18. Dr Rusaslina Idrus
  19. Dr Shanthi Thambiah
  20. Dr Siti Noraida Habibullah
  21. Sivasangaran Kumaran
  22. Wan Nordiyawati Wan Omar
  23. Zarina Ismail Tom

 

For more information: renchung@wao.org.my, 016 718 3247

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