SHAH ALAM, 17 May: The small number of women ministers and deputy ministers in the cabinet proves that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak still does not or refuses to acknowledge the role of women in national development.
The former Deputy Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly, Haniza Talha said that Najib is ungrateful to women voters although survey finds that women, on average, voter Umno-BN during the 13th general Election (GE-13).
In the cabinet of ministers for the 2013-2015 term, only one full ministerial post was given to women from the 30 available ministries.
Datuk Rohani Abdul Rakim was appointed the Minister of Women, Family and Community.
Meanwhile for the post of deputy minister, only five out of the 26 positions are shouldered by women.
For the Prime Minister’s Department, only one woman was selected out of eight ministers which is Nancy Shukri.
Haniza said that the pattern of appointment is far different from the approach of the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat Government where four of its 10 Executive Councillors are women.
Previously, the Malaysian Insider portal reported that the Merdeka Centre survey found that women, in general, mostly voted for Umno-BN compared to men.
“If women are half of the voters and contributed to the victory of Barisan Nasional, surely more women’s voices should be present in the newly appointed cabinet. But it is not so.”
During the recent GE-13, 40 out of 70 female candidates from Barisan Nasional won Parliamentary and State seats.
“Where are the other women leaders? There are so many ministries, not one, except for the women’s ministry, is headed by women.”
Haniza is the first woman to be appointed as the deputy speaker of the State Legislative Assembly in Malaysia.
She also played a major role in the State Special Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency aimed at monitoring the State Government operations.
She is also the Member of the Taman Medan State Legislative Assembly since the 2008-2013 term.
“The failure of Barisan Nasional till today to uplift women is clear. Although in the past they said that they will recognise women’s contribution it was merely talk, not through their actions.”
Pakatan Rakyat is committed to involve more women in the administration of the country with the 30% quota for decision makers positions devoted to women.
“Even for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, if a man could hold the position, they would give to a man. Due to its name of being ‘Women’s Affairs’, Alhamdulillah there is one (woman). Otherwise, I feel there would be no women.”
During the last term, Najib held the post as acting minister of women development.