Malaysiakini Opinion

Harapan, fulfil your promise to increase female policymakers

Zan Azlee  |  Published on  |  Modified on

COMMENT | Yes, we are all aware of how big a change May 9 was for Malaysia and for Malaysians. It is a date that now signifies hope. A couple of weeks have gone by and now the euphoria is slowly (very slowly!) fading away. Now, work has to be done.

Almost immediately, we could see the changes happening and one of the most hyped changes was the pursuit of the 1MDB scandal. Investigations into former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak began instantaneously. His homes were raided, cash confiscated, himself interrogated.

And the argument began.

“Pakatan Harapan is going against their promise!” my wife Sheril said.

“What promise? They are already starting the fight against corruption,” I replied.

“Yeah what about their promise to have 30 percent women representation?”

“Oh! It will come. They have 100 days to do it. They’re just going down their priority list.”

“Are you saying gender equality is not important? Are you saying the 1MDB scandal is more important?”

“Err.. all I’m saying is that the 1MDB scandal and corruption has been Harapan’s main fight at the moment and so that’s what they started with. They haven’t even picked a full cabinet yet.”

“You misogynist!”

“Err… ok.”

So in my defence (and since I am the one writing this article!), I am all for gender equality and I am totally pushing for the 30 percent women representation in government.

I just feel that politics is populist and opportunist, so Harapan's promise may have catered to that.

But I also realised that the 30 percent quota was part of their manifesto and I obviously want them to fulfil it. But I was also sceptical. I thought, how could Harapan fulfil the quota if there weren’t even enough women candidates voted into office?

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