THE new cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should comprise at least 30% women ministers.
Even if the new Najib-led cabinet is reduced in number, the prime minister should still implement and ensure at least 30% participation of women, in accordance with the United Nation’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), [which Malaysia is a signatory of].
Najib should also consider the appointment of a non-Malay [Malaysian] deputy prime minister to better reflect our ethnic representation in the new government.
The current economic crunch will impact the income of most Malaysian households. The government should take serious precautionary measures as women may be affected the most by increased financial difficulties. Domestic violence, sexual crimes and other social and security problems faced by women may increase.
Women are also the most vulnerable group in the job market and will be the most likely to be exposed to unemployment risk. Therefore, the Najib-led government must be proactive to act fast and implement programs to cushion the impact of the economic situation, especially on women.
Bukit Mertajam Member of Parliament
DAP Women’s Wing Chief
4 April 2009