Chew: Women candidates want level playing field

KUALA LUMPUR: Political parties should give “winnable” seats to female candidates, just as they would give to the men, said De­­puty Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

“Don’t just field women candidates only in difficult seats for the general election. Give them a fair chance to contest in seats that they could win in,” she said.

To increase the number of wo­­men MPs, she said all political parties should give women “winnable” seats.

“Currently, we do not have any guaranteed seats for the women.

“We want to have a level playing field with the men and we also want to improve ourselves,” she said after announcing the #beaXsuperwoman Xavier Mah Awards ceremony here yesterday.

Chew recounted the time when she was first named as an election candidate, she contested in Petaling Jaya Utara, which was a difficult seat for Barisan Nasional.

“This means that women should have the courage to take up the challenge but at the same time, I do not agree with putting women only in difficult seats although some have proven they could win,” she said.

She won the PJ Utara parlia­men­tary seat in 1999 and 2004 but lost it in 2008.

Chew, who is an MCA vice-president, said the party was trying its best to field more women.

“As a woman leader in the party, I will ask for it but the president will make the final decision,” she said.

During the event, six Malay­sians were honoured as #beaXsuperwoman organised by Xavier Mah Consultancy, in conjunction with its 6th anniversary recently.

These women have one thing in common – a deep-rooted de­­sire to empower Malaysians to make a positive impact in the community.

Human rights activist Mary Shan­­­ti Dairiam was credited for framing the Domestic Violence Act and finally seeing it passed in Parliament in 1994.

Datuk M. Rajamani, also known as the Queen Of Tracks, was the first woman to win a gold medal in the Asian Games (1966) and was named National Sportswoman of the Year in 1966 and 1967.

Datuk Faridah Merican is well known within the theatre circles. She is the co-founder of KLPac, PenangPac and The Actors Studio.

Former Women’s Aid Organi­sation executive director Ivy Jo­­siah is now secretary-general of Society for the Promotion of Hu­­man Rights.

The other two were Global Entre­­preneurship Movement exe­­­cu­­tive di­­rector Low Ngai Yuen and Siti Noor Radiah Ismail who won 2016 Paralympic Rio Games bronze me­­dal and is the Asian Paralympic Games T20 long jump record holder.