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Minister ‘misled’ Asean commission on women, children

 | July 23, 2013

According to Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How the federal government has done nothing more that fund a woman empowerment programme in Sarawak.

KUCHING: Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim had allegedly lied when she told the 7th Meeting of the Asean Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children that the recommendations listed in the National Taskforce Report had been executed.

Pointing out Rohani’s “embassing mistake”, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said: “I regret the minister was misguided and wrongly advised into making an embarrassing statement that most of the recommendations listed in the National Taskforce Report were executed.

“The recommendation listed steps to combat problems in areas of sexual abuse, birth registration and citizenship, healthcare and education.

“I am disappointed with the Minister as she did not speak the truth at the international forum.”

See said Rohani, who is from Sarawak, had bee referring to the Federal Cabinet Working Committee Report investigating into the sexual assault and exploitation of Penan young women and girls in the Middle and Ulu Baram Sarawak when she addressed the Asean Commission in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“She should have consulted and verified the information she obtained with our state Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, before addressing this issue which is of international concern.

“(Datuk) Fatimah Abdullah knew very well that the federal government has done very little to execute the recommendations listed in the National Taskforce Report.

“In her Ministerial reply to my question in the Sarawak State Assembly late last year, (Datuk) Fatimah Abdullah revealed that the federal government had funded the first session of the women empowerment programme that was organized by the women’s group, SWWS.

“Until today, there has not been any arrangement done to ferry Penan children to their boarding schools and back to their settlements,” said See, who is state PKR vice-chairman.

He pointed out that the Penan settlements in Middle Baram have to rely solely on a single truck that was purchased and given to them by the Selangor and Penang state governments.

“The complaints lodged with the police on sexual assault against Penan women have also been classified as “NFA” (no further action).

“There has also been no additional efforts been made into the health services, national registration and pre-school classes being set up by the taskforce, as recommended.

“However, I welcome the commitment by the federal minister to visit the Penan community in Sarawak to review the implementation of the recommendations made in the report, and I hope she will make full and frank disclosure of her report later,” said See.


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