KUALA LUMPUR: The government has always prioritised the interests of women as they have contributed immensely to the country’s development, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister said womenfolk’s contributions must not only be respected, but should also be given due recognition.
He said this was evident when the government agreed last year to establish the National Women’s Council (MWN), the National Women's Executive Committee (JEWN), and state women’s working committees (JKWNi) to empower women’s roles at the federal and state levels.
"Recently the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill 2021 was passed at the Dewan Negara to be enforced in stages.
"Under this government, the bill was passed to not only protect womenfolk, but also men from sexual harassment,” he said in his speech during an event with Malaysian female media practitioners organised by the Malaysian Women Journalists Association (Pertama) here on Monday (Aug 15).
Also present were Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun; Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid; Bernama chairman Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi and Pertama president Sariha Mohd Ali.
Ismail Sabri added that the Securities Commission had also amended its listing requirement to make it mandatory for all public-listed companies to appoint at least one female director.
He also said beginning Sept 1, all major companies with market capitalisation of RM2mil (as of Dec 31, 2021) would implement this requirement, while the same would apply to other companies from June 1, 2023.
"I had previously instructed that there be at least 30% female board members in government-linked companies (GLC) and government-linked investment companies (GLIC) before their annual general meetings are held in 2023.
“To date, as many as 210 out of 900 Sdn Bhd (Private Ltd) companies have more than 30% of their board members consisting of women,” he added.
On female media practitioners, Ismail Sabri said the group played an important role, and the government needed their support to disseminate accurate information to the people.
At the event, Ismail Sabri approved a fund of RM300,000 for Pertama activities, and hoped that the association would help the government enhance the level of professionalism in journalism.
"I am sure there are many other big names among womenfolk in various fields in this country who have been journalists, and the success of Pertama in helping to produce people of such calibre is an outstanding feat," he said. - Bernama