KUALA LUMPUR– The Lower House of Parliament passed several important legislations that are seen as people-centric and will bring Malaysia forward to a developed nation status.

Among them were the Land Public Transport Act 2010 and Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987, making Malaysia one of the first countries in the world to legalise and regulate e-hailing services such as Uber and Grab.

The Bills passed their first hurdle to becoming law and are as good as a done deal.

Lawmakers said the Bills would ensure taxi drivers have a level playing field and are not left behind in the move to improve the public transportation industry.

The Bills will be brought to the Senate for debate before they are submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) for assent, after which they will be gazetted as law.

Also significant was the passing of the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2017, which will give better protection for abused wives and even husbands.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim told the House that abuse was defined as physical and emotional distress.

These included threats of uploading embarrassing photographs of a spouse on social media.

Rohani also hinted that the Government was mulling introducing a new law to criminalise stalking.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said tabled amendments to the Legal Aid Act 1971.

The amendments will see the creation of new provisions, which among others, provide that children who are victims of sexual crimes and their family members will now have access to legal aid.

The child victim can seek help from a legal companion who will explain to the child and his family the nature of the legal proceedings.

The legal companion will also speak on behalf of the child in court.

Efforts to bring Malaysia to a developed nation status gained traction when Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the second phase of the MRT connecting Semantan to Kajang.

A senior Barisan Nasional backbencher said the Government would continue to table Bills that were close to the heart of the rakyat next week.

Among them are the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering (Amendment) Bill 2017 and Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Bill 2017, seeking to ensure advertisements, price tags and quotations display taxes and additional charges.

This is to promote transparency in the display, publication or quotation of prices, so consumers can make an informed choice.

Parliament will resume its sitting Monday July 31.