Govt needs to promote ethnic, religious understanding – Jannie
Law and Native Affairs Assistant Minister Jannie Lasimbang was among the key speakers during the 9th National Conference on on Non-Discrimination themed “New Malaysia: Achieving Unity in Plural Society” at one of the hotels here.
In her topic on “Institutional Reform: Overhaul or Fine Tune”, Jannie said the government needed to promote ethnic and religious understanding in the country and to ensure everyone, including indigenous peoples, in Malaysia would be able to enjoy their right to freedom of opinion, expression and religious belief freely and without fear.
The initiative for legal and policy reforms allowing religious freedom and promoting understanding in line with international human rights law and standards had already started with the proposed Harmony Bill, she added.
Apart from ethnic and religious divides, Jannie said Malaysia had also been suffering from gender discrimination.
She said deteriorating social well-being, particularly for family institution, health and the environment were seen to be the major issues.
Divorce rates, domestic violence and juvenile crimes, aggravated by increasing household debt are among the major causes as well must be addressed in the 12th Malaysia Plan.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women has made recommendations and she hoped that Malaysia would implement these recommendations.
Jannie concluded that new Malaysia had already made commitments starting with the Pakatan Harapan manifesto and the ongoing efforts to implement the reform agenda should be supported.
From left: Suhakam vice chairman Datuk Godfrey Gregory Joitol, Bersih 2.0 (Sabah) vice chair Beverly Joeman, Jannie, Bar Council member Andrew Khoo and Suhakam Commissioner Jerald Joseph.