Harmonization of Domestic Legislation with the CRPD (CRPD Art. 33)

Proposer:

-

Affiliations:

Law Reform Harapan OKU & AWL

Policy Code:

2h PWD

Problem Statement / Issue:

Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution does not prohibit discrimination against disability. Malaysia has not ratified the Optional Protocol to the CRPD. The Government in 2019 had announced that a task force would be established to reform the PwD Act 2008. To date (May 2021), no task force has been set up.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

Rights and social protection of People with Disability (PwD) in Malaysia are not complete, PwD could face further discrimination , marginalization and harassment.

Proposal of Solution and Call to Action:

a. Strengthen the comprehensiveness and update the definition of disability to include, e.g., rare diseases, psychosocial disabilities, persons with neurodiversity, temporary disabilities;
a. Include definitions of discrimination and harassment; (c) Establish remedies for those affected by discrimination and/or harassment;

b. Introduce penalties for non-compliance with the provisions of the Act and enforcement of the rights of PwDs;

c. Repeal all ouster clauses, including and not limited to Sections 41 & 42 of the PwD Act 2008 that prevent and protect government and public servants from being sued when they claim to have acted in good faith;

d. Establish an independent Disability Commission with powers to:

i. Mainstream disability issues;
ii. Investigate disability issues and provide legal advice;
iii. Compel any person to appear before it and produce any document regarding disability-related issues in an enquiry initiated by the Commissioner;
iv. Initiate action on its own accord relating to non-compliance with the Act and intervene where necessary in legal suits concerning disability issues;
v. Initiate action on its own accord relating to discrimination against persons with disability;
vi. Submit to Parliament for review and debate an annual report and raise issues concerning PwDs;
vii. Establish a tribunal to handle infringement of the rights of PwDs, as it is more cost-effective and members of the proposed tribunal would be specialists in disability and access to justice issues.

e. Honour Malaysia’s obligations under the CRPD by, among others, working on the following:

i. Pursue comprehensive harmonization of domestic legislation in diverse sectors (including but not limited to education, health, human resources development, employment, housing and local government, works, transport, communication and multimedia, domestic trade and consumer affairs) with the CRPD;
ii. Develop implementing rules to give effect to legislative measures that uphold and protect the rights of persons with disabilities and address discrimination and harassment experienced by persons with disabilities and those closely associated with them;
iii. Examine means of strengthening multi-sectoral, multi-ministerial and multi-level coordination to mainstream disability inclusion;
iv. Mobilize human and other resources to advocate, on a continuous basis, for public, civil service and private sector understanding of the rights of persons with disabilities.

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