KUALA LUMPUR: Public listed companies (PLCs) which fail to have any women on their boards of directors will be "named and shamed" in a list to be published by the Government next year.
"As of December last year, we have 16.8% of women on the boards of directors of PLCs, so we are still short by 13.2%," Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) said at a TN50 dialogue here Monday.
"I have given the warning that next year, we will publish the list of PLCs that do not have women on their boards...we will name and shame these companies.
"I can also threaten by not giving government contracts to the really recalcitrant companies.
"That way, I believe there will be a dramatic change in women representation on boards of directors," said the Prime Minister.
Najib highlighted the progress made by women and their achievements in the past few years.
He said the female labour force had increased to 54.3% last year, from 46.4% when he first took office in 2008.
"As for education, we have 64% of women in public tertiary education institutions as of 2016, compared with 59.7% in 2007.
"These are among the achievements and progress made by Malaysian women that prove the saying 'when women succeed, a nation will also succeed'," he said.
Eighteen women from different target groups spoke of their hopes and aspirations at the dialogue organised by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.
The suggestions included the need to increase allocations for women's aid organisations and programmes, as well to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act to re-include the proposed Section 88A on the unilateral conversion of minors.
Najib, in winding-up, said a two-thirds majority was needed in Parliament for the government to push through amendments, including Section 88A, to the Federal Constitution, and this the Government did not have.
He also took the Opposition to task for calling for the abolition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying it would mean a great loss of revenue.
"If you criticise the GST, remember that it is a huge source of government revenue, which will be used for your own benefit.
"Without the RM42bil revenue from GST, our country will come to a standstill and we will have a dysfunctional government.
"The Opposition keeps making promises that it will abolish GST if it comes to power, but I assure you it cannot be done.
"I am the Minister of Finance, I should know it is unrealistic," he said.