Wednesday 3 October 2012

Wanita Pakatan: Najib clueless about women's plight

  • Aidila Razak
  • 1:18PM Oct 3, 2012
Wanita Pakatan Rakyat leaders today said that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's statement that there is no need for a women's rights movement in Malaysia, shows that he is out of touch with the plight of the fairer sex.

NONESpeaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, PKR's Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin (left) said that Najib's speech at the National Women's Day celebration yesterday showed he did not realise how poorly Malaysia fares in the Global Gender Gap index.

"He failed to differentiate between the right to vote and national participation. We are at a point where we want to empower and mainstream women.

"And yet, the empowerment process is poor and this is proven in the Global Gender Index Gap 2011," Zuraida, who is also PKR Wanita chief, said.

Malaysia is placed 97th in a list of 135 countries, far behind its regional neighbours like the Philippines in 8th place, Brunei in 76th, Thailand in 60th and Singapore in 57th.

‘Appoint NGO leader as women’s minister’

She said that Najib, who is also women, family and community minister, was certainly “wrongly advised” by the women leaders in BN and had “humiliated” Malaysian women through his speech.

“Najib’s appointment as women, family and community minister is a mistake and if there are no other BN leaders to take up the post, we suggest NGO leaders like Dr Cecelia Ng (Penita Intitiative), Rabiah Omar (former Awam CEO) and Ivy Josiah (Women’s Aid Organisation CEO),” she said.

NONEPAS’ Kota Raja MP Siti Mariah Mahmud (left), meanwhile, said that the PM had confused “acknowledgement” with “implementation”.

“Even in Islam, women were given rights 1,433 years ago but still we are fighting for the implementation. It is not enough to just put it on paper,” she said. 

PKR’s Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh said added that there was a “fundamental bias” in Najib’s speech, particularly when he said that women were so advanced in Malaysia that men have become an “endangered species”.

DAP’s Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng added that women’s issues have been raised many times in Parliament and it is hoped that Najib will address it in the committee stage of the budget debate.

Meanwhile, PAS’ Rantau Panjang MP Zailah Yusof said that Najib’s “failure to understand women’s needs” is exemplified in the Budget, with only RM48.7 million allocated for development expenditure for the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

“This has to be divided between 14 states and then shared with the Welfare Department, etc,” she said, of the allocation which plunged from RM157 million in 2011.

The total budget for the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is RM1.85 billion, with women’s development allocated RM26 million.

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