PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has urged parties to conduct thorough background checks on all their politicians, in the wake of claims by female journalists that they had been sexually harassed by the male politicians they were assigned to interview.
She said this must be done regardless of the individual’s status or position within the organisation.
“Political parties must be sensitive towards such behaviour and take strong disciplinary measures as well as legal action whenever cases of sexual harassment are traced.
“The party leadership, especially, plays a crucial role in eradicating such monsters from being involved in politics and freely mingling with the public,” she said in a statement today.
The issue arose after a news portal reported the accounts of women journalists who said they had experienced sexual advances from the male politicians they were assigned to interview.
Two of the eight journalists featured by the Asian Correspondent were Malaysians.
One said a politician had sent lewd text messages and stroked her thigh during an interview. The other said an MP had persistently messaged her to ask about her personal life and had invited her to dinner despite being married.
Nurul Izzah, who is Lembah Pantai MP, said those who exhibited negative traits and behaviours should be immediately removed.
She said future politicians should also be educated on the matter of ethical behaviour and what constitutes non-tolerable manners for a public figure.
“There must be a clear realisation that those with bad reputations and heinous backgrounds will not be accepted in politics, especially with the public eye continuously watching.”