Kamilia’s Lament: Evidence Umno Rejects Women as Leaders


SHAH ALAM, 18 Apr: Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim was disappointed when Datuk Seri Najib Razak failed to name several women Umno leaders as candidates for the 13th General Elections (GE-13).

Kamilia, who is also the Wanita Umno Malaysia Deputy Chief who was not nominated, stated that this is an insult to the Malay party’s right wing.

Commenting on this, Wanita PKR Deputy Chief, Rodziah Ismail said that this shows the difference in political culture of Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR), especially PKR, in upholding the dignity of women.

Selangor PKR itself, she said, has an increase of two seats for women compared to the previous four seats, which clearly shows political openness in upholding women’s dignity.

Rodziah explained that she also agrees that the marginalisation of some Umno-BN female leaders is seen as an ‘insult’.

“We can and realise that women are able to lead the people. They show excellent performance.

“I feel that her (Kamilia) statement clearly shows she is really disappointed. The leadership (women) should take this matter seriously because in my opinion, she is not the only leadership, but all of Wanita Umno,” she told TVSelangor.

She stressed that women are not to be treated as mere workers but should be recognised appropriately.

Umno-BN’s top leadership is seen as prioritising women who are ‘corporate’ in characteristic compared to those who strongly advocate women’s rights in the party at all levels, so much so that some of them are marginalised in being a candidate for the GE-13.

For the record, Kamilia is the second highest leader in the Wanita Umno hierarchy. When Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil resigned as the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development because of the cattle issue, Najib took the position without appointing a replacement.

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