The Malaysian Social Workers draft bill proposes a council which will help regulate and empower social workers in Malaysia.
Several consultations with stake-holders have been held and are still going on. In fact, sessions were held with ministerial stake-holders even while the framework of the Bill was being crafted by an independent social work consultant, Dr Pauline Meemeduma in early 2010. She then worked with a local legal consultant, Dr Farah Nini binti Dusuki from the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya, on the first draft which was again discussed with ministerial stake-holders then taken on a road show to brief social welfare officers and NGOs in 13 states before submission to the Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD) in December 2010. Since then, the Bill has been re-drafted and discussed with the Ministry’s Steering Committee, and two workshops held with the Technical Committee to incorporate feedback received. MASW is represented on this Committee.
The Draft Bill will be further reviewed before it is submitted to the Cabinet, then to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further scrutiny before it is tabled in Parliament. The timeline was supposed to be October 2012, but that does not appear feasible until all the state governments have been briefed, and other events may push the Draft Bill over to 2013 before it gets to Parliament. In the meantime the Technical Committee is continuing to sort out necessary issues to prepare for the Bill.
Find out more on the website of the Malaysian Association of Social Workers: www.masw.org.my