Women's rights group wants 20 female MPs

  • Nation
  • Friday, 11 May 2018

PETALING JAYA: A women's rights group wants newly-appointed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed to consider having a minimum 30% women's representation in cabinet.

Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) said that making Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail Malaysia's first-ever female Deputy Prime Minister is not enough.

"We have waited too long for meaningful representation in cabinet and can no longer accept the justification that women are not ready to lead ministries.

"The new cabinet will be largely made up of people, including men, who have little or no experience in federal government.

"This presents a great opportunity to reflect the new government's commitment to include women in key decision-making posts, commensurate with their potential and experience to contribute to good governance," said Empower in a statement on Friday.

Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election on Wednesday (May 9) and Dr Mahathir was appointed Prime Minister the next day (May 10).

Among the names recommended are:

Nurul Izzah Anwar (Permatang Pauh, PKR), a third-term MP and PKR vice president fights for freedom of assembly and human rights issues.

Hannah Yeoh (Segambut, DAP), former Speaker and two-term member of the Selangor state assembly, first-term MP and vice chairperson of DAP's women's wing wants to end corruption and racism.

Kasthurirani Patto (Batu Kawan, DAP), a second-term MP, former political secretary to Lim Kit Siang and publicity secretary of DAP's women's wing champions human rights, diversity and national security issues.

Maria Chin Abdullah (Petaling Jaya, Independent), Bersih former chairperson and a first-term MP has long worked on good governance, electoral reform, trade and women's human rights.

Teresa Kok (Seputeh, DAP), a fifth-term parliamentarian, DAP deputy secretary-general and former Parliamentary Select Committee member champions law reforms.

Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang, PKR), a third-term MP and chairperson of Selangor's Institute Wanita Berdaya champions women's human rights and increase women's political representation.

Fuziah Salleh (Kuantan, PKR), second-term MP and PKR central executive committee member for her commitment in environmental protection.

Teo Nie Ching (Kulai, DAP), a third-term MP and DAP's women's wing secretary champions people's access to their basic rights – health services and water, and women's human rights.

Alice Lau (Lanang, DAP), a second-term MP who created history when she became the first woman to be fielded by the opposition in Sarawak. She is committed to indigenous people's rights, poverty alleviation, rural development and education.

Yeo Bee Yin (Bakri, DAP), former Selangor state assembly representative and first-term MP is committed to issues of poverty alleviation, youth and education.

Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Kota Belud, Warisan), Parti Warisan Sabah's Wirawati chief and first-term MP focused on environmental protection, young women's rights and rural development.

"There are many other well-qualified candidates, but the above is used to illustrate that there are enough capable women whom you can appoint as ministers in the new cabinet.

"Transformation can only happen with greater inclusion and leadership of diverse women in this country. This should be a core aspect of Malaysia's commitment to gender equality, to reflect this equality in cabinet," it said.

It said that female voters outnumbered men in all but two states and one Federal Territory, which led to the historic success.

"This is a testimony of women's desire to see change that will address their issues and concerns. Women's participation in the electoral process cannot largely remain only as voters.

"There needs to be more substantive participation, especially in decision-making. It would be glaringly unjust if women are overlooked yet again in the formation of a new cabinet," it said, adding that the Pakatan had promised to eliminate discrimination against women.

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