Calling coworkers ‘sayang’ or ‘dear’ now deemed sexual harassment in Malaysia

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No sayang vstaff sexual harassment

The Malaysian Public Service Commission released a statement that says referring to colleagues as “sayang” or “dear” is against civil service policy and can land a civil servant in trouble, according to the latest government circular sighted by a Malay daily.

No sayang vstaff sexual harassment

The Public Service Commission circular dated April 7 2023 stated that using words and terms of endearment such as “sayang” on colleagues had been classified as a form of sexual harassment.

It was further reported that physical sexual harassment included actions such as touching, holding, molesting, kissing, pinching and hugging. None of these came as much of a surprise, however also on the list was “sexting”, which is sending lewd text messages on various platforms, including Whatsapp and social media platforms. 

It would seem sexting has now been officially classified as visual sexual harassment.

The circular, which was issued by the commission’s promotion and disciplinary division, said those guilty of the listed offences could face disciplinary action under Regulation 4A of the Public Officers Regulations (Conduct and Discipline) 1993.

At the same time, the circular also stated that a victim, when lodging a report, should detail the internal feelings they went through due to the harassment, such as feeling insulted and emotional or mental distress.

The complaint should also include the time, date and place of the incident.

Among the listed punishments to be determined by the Disciplinary Board are demotions, revoking of emoluments and in serious or repeated cases – termination.

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Credit: The Star

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