MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Enact law for 30% women representation, says Sabah MP


Sabah PKR chief Christina Liew said many governments around the world have legislated their 30% policy for women’s decision-making in the public sector.

KOTA KINABALU: It is high time the government enacted legislation that compels at least a 30% women participation in decision-making roles in the public sector, said Sabah PKR chief Christina Liew.

The Tawau MP said while it was imperative for governments at all levels to increase the percentage of women in such roles, including in the legislature and the Cabinet, she conceded it will remain an uphill struggle without undivided support from the menfolk.

“Over the past few decades, this crucial point has been publicly acknowledged by many women political leaders, activists and women’s rights groups in the country.

“For the past 20 years, Malaysian women politicians have also been clamouring for the targeted 30% women’s political representation in Parliament as well as in the state legislative assemblies but to no avail,” she said here today.

Liew recalled that women parliamentary speakers and parliamentarians from Commonwealth countries had in 2015 called for Malaysia to enact legislation of the 30% policy for women in such roles in the public sector.

The former deputy chief minister said the women MPs made the call during the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) executive committee meeting hosted by Malaysia in Sabah that year.

“As governments around the world have legislated their 30% policy for women’s decision-making in the public sector, why not Malaysia?

“Only then, I believe, can Malaysian women attain the target for women’s representation in key decision-making positions,” she said, adding such legislation should also be expanded to include women’s political representation at all levels.

“Again, it boils down to political will and affirmative action for the target to be achieved. Otherwise, we will only be harping on the issue endlessly with no tangible results.”

Liew said this in support of the call by the Sabah Women Action-Resource Group (Sawo) for the government to consider public funding for political parties, as recommended by Bersih 2.0, with RM133 million in direct funding annually.

She also welcomed Sawo’s push for the second recommendation in the Bersih study that RM10 million should be provided to all parties that succeed in electing at least one woman parliamentarian or state assemblyman.

“However, without the parties’ firm commitment and political will, the recommendations will only remain on paper as implementation is not likely to see the light of day,” she said.

Liew, who is also Api-Api assemblyman, said there are numerous factors that deter women from venturing into the political arena, including the volatility in politics and gender bias.

She added the lack of male support from a patriarchal society, shortage of finance, lack of self-confidence and cultural barriers were also among the reasons.

She said in her capacity as a vice-president in the PKR central leadership council, as well on a personal level, she had never tired of persuading the leadership to consider increasing women’s representation in Parliament and in the Sabah state assembly.

Sawo had yesterday said providing financial support to parties with women MPs is the key to raising women’s participation in politics.

The group said the RM10 million should be proportionally divided among the parties by women-held seats, and earmarked entirely for parties’ expenses in promoting women’s participation in politics. - FMT

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