KUALA LUMPUR: No political parties are given priority in the appointment of 30 volunteers under the Yayasan Kebajikan Negara (YKN), says Datuk Seri Rina Harun.
The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said volunteers were needed to help the needy, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Only 30 volunteers were appointed across the country.
"It is not based on any parliamentary seats but the volunteers need to travel across districts.
"We open this to any volunteers, and whoever is willing to be one, we will accept.
"We do not give it to any particular political parties or to any non-governmental organisations," she said in her ministry's winding up for the 2021 Budget at the committee stage.
Hannah Yeoh (PH-Segambut) then stood up to clarify whether majority from the 30 volunteers were members of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Srikandi's women's wing.
To this, Rina replied that it was open to all.
Yeoh then interjected again, asking why it was not advertised to all parties and whether priority was given to Srikandi members.
The minister said,"when we select them, we never consider their political backgrounds.
"When we give any assistance, we also do not ask about their political affiliation," said Rina.
Pressed further by Yeoh, whether any Srikandi members had been paid under YKN's payroll, Rina replied: "that is not among the criterias to be a YKN volunteer."
Meanwhile, Rina assured MPs that she will push to table the Sexual Harassment Bill as soon as possible.
Rina said the ministry has sent the Bill has been sent to the Attorney General's Chambers for some enhancement.
However, Kasthuri Pattoo (PH-Batu Kawan) had interjected and pressed on the minister to give a timeline on when the Bill would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.
"Minister, it has been one year and the Bill still has not been brought to the House. Where is the stumbling block," asked Kasthuri.
To this, Rina said some time is needed.
"We have sent it to the AGC. There are some improvements that needed to be done, if there is no change of government, it won't be like this.
"I am saying in this House that the Bill will continue and enhancement will be done to it," said Rina.
The minister also thanked MPs for constantly pushing for the Bill.