Malaysiakini Letter

Crying shame for PM to take MyWin chair position from women

Kasthuri Patto  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak yesterday announced that he will helm the post of MyWIN Academy Advisory Council chairperson while Lim Kok Wing will take charge as deputy chairperson.

The goal of this council is to help the government's overall push to increase the number of women in decision-making positions in the public and private sector.

Is this some kind of joke? That the prime minister is advocating to push the number of women in decision-making positions while snatching up the decision-making post of chairperson for himself.

Is Najib trying to say that there are no credible, intelligent and courageous female leaders in the entire Malaysian cabinet who can lead this council?

Not even the women, family and community development minister, the two female ministers in the Prime Ministers Department, and the five female deputy ministers in the cabinet who, in the opinion of the prime minister, are incapable of leading this council?

This isn’t just mockery but an insult by Najib, who was the former women's minister when he took on the role in 2012, replacing Shahrizat Abdul Halil whose senatorship expired - which was a betrayal of the women's agenda.

Five years down the line, Najib has proven that his hollow words that the BN government is determined to increase women participation in decision-making positions

It was reflected in his grab of the MyWIN Academy Advisory Council chairperson position rather than having a woman, who is determined to uplift, uphold and defend women empowerment and gender equality, to occupy the position.

In what way is the government going to ensure that women hold decision-making positions when the prime minister, shamelessly takes that post?

To add insult to injury, even the deputy chairperson of the advisory council is also a man.

I find it illogical that the prime minister serves as chairperson to an advisory council that is parked under his own department rather than appoint a woman from the academic field, or even from the NGO sphere to lead it.

In July, Najib brazenly committed to naming and shaming PLCs with no women participation on their boards from next year.

I propose that the naming and shaming also be applied to government agencies and their arms.

I would like to nominate the MyWIN Academy Advisory Council as the first in this 'name and shame' effort for allowing the position of the chairperson and deputy chairperson be held by men.


Kasthuri Patto is the DAP MP for Batu Kawan.

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