KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has dropped hints that Barisan Nasional (BN) will field more women candidates in the 14th general election (GE14), which will be called “very soon”.
Ahmad Zahid, who is BN deputy chairman, said he believed that women should be the backbone of Malaysia’s politics, with the strength of Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s stewardship and solid Wanita BN and Umno wing.
He said Shahrizat, who is the current Wanita Umno chief and Wanita BN chairman, should be given an important position after the general election.
“I will whisper to the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) to have more women (candidates) in the general election. I am a true believer of what women can do, if they are given the trust or task,” he said when closing the international conference on Women in Politics 2017 (WIPKL), here, today held in conjunction with the Umno General Assembly from Dec 5 to 9.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, pointed out that the ruling BN government had constantly pushed for more women to be fielded as candidates in the elections.
“The same goes to the coming general election, which is very near.
“Women empowerment is meaningless if their voice is not heard in politics. Luckily in Malaysia, there have been positive results as far as having more women’s voice in politics is concerned,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia had put in place various initiatives to see more participation of women in the public and private sectors.
As for the public sector, he said Malaysia had done extremely well as it had exceeded the target of having at least 30 per cent of women at the decision-making level.
“The actual achievement stands at 35.8 per cent while in the corporate sector, our women have achieved 29.9 per cent. As the target is 30 per cent, I leave it to you to do the calculation of how close we are to achieving it,” he said.
Sharing one of Malaysia’s many success stories, the deputy prime minister said the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring Report 2016/2017, released recently, had ranked Malaysia fourth in gender equality in entrepreneurship behind Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia.
“What does this mean? It means that the number of women entrepreneurs in Malaysia has caught up with with that of men,” he said. — Bernama