Groups upset over lack of female appointments to JAC


  • Nation
  • Monday, 24 Apr 2017

Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari

 

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister’s appointments to the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) fell short of the Government’s 30% quota for women, said several civil society groups.

The JAC comprises nine members: four are automatic - the Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of Malaya and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak; and five are appointed by the Prime Minister - four eminent persons and one Federal Court judge.

The eminent persons and Federal Court Judge’s posts, which were vacant for 66 days, were filled on April 17 and all five were men.

The Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) chairman Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari said the body was concerned that there was not a single woman among the four eminent persons.

“Article 8(2) of the Constitution guarantees non-discrimination on grounds of gender and the Prime Minister himself, who launched the Malaysian Chapter of the 30% Club, encouraged the corporate sector to break glass ceilings and include women in their board.”

Honey Tan


“Proham is saddened by this missed opportunity for the Prime Minister to have broken the glass ceiling himself,” said Kuthubul, in urging the Government to consider and appoint more women in public policy-making positions in the future to ensure that all voices are heard and represented.

Human rights lawyer Honey Tan pointed out Paragraph 54 of the 11th Malaysia Plan promised Malaysians it would implement the policy of 30% women’s participation in decision-making levels in the public sector.

“If they are sensitive to racial diversity - there is a Chinese, an Indian and Malays among the eminent persons - when will they become aware of the need for female representation in the very important decision-making body of appointing judges and judicial commissioners?” asked Tan. 

“What is the reason for not appointing even one woman? In the Federal Court Judge category, Tan Sri Zainun Ali, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim, or Datuk Aziah Ali could have been one of the appointees.

“In the eminent persons category, surely at least one eminent woman may be found in the whole country to fill that post,” she added. 

Thulasy Suppiah


Asked whether Datuk Seri Ainum Mohamad Said was in the first batch of eminent persons because she was a former Attorney General, Tan said it was possible.
Perak Women for Women Society, Women’s Aid Organisation and the Association of Women Lawyers (AWL) welcomed the appointments after a two-month delay but lamented the lack of diversity.

AWL exco member Thulasy Suppiah said the JAC must not only be independent but inclusive and diverse.

“Female appointments to the JAC and the judiciary in general are necessary to ensure that the realities and perceptions of women in our society are also accounted for when making decisions that may differ from that of an all-male commission or panel,” said Thulasy, who cited a civil court sentence for rape and the statement of a former Syariah court judge who advocated marriage as a social remedy to rape.

She quoted Lady Brenda Hale, a British Supreme Court Judge and advocate for an inclusive judiciary, who said “even if we do not persuade our colleagues to share our point of view, it is important that we articulate it.”

“We hope subsequent appointments to JAC will be more diverse and representative,” added Thulasy.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Nation

Enhanced MCO extended another week until Dec 10 for residents of Zone B, C, Taman Meru C in Ipoh
323 contractors registered with Johor govt to be involved in first phase of Rapid Transit System project
Over 40 police reports lodged from victims of 'like and share' scam
S'wak-owned Petros to enter consumer LPG market next year
Yayasan Sabah students return home for school holidays
Five Finance Ministry employees fined for failing to report corruption in first case of its kind
Nearly RM700k lost to loan scams in PJ this year, say cops
Hisham reiterates Malaysia's readiness to sign Asean-EU air transport agreement
Covid-19: 111 placed under quarantine after Johor police inspector tests positive
Govt to encourage more locals, including Orang Asli, to seek jobs in plantation sector

Stories You'll Enjoy