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PKR Wanita proposes changes in electoral system

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MELAKA: PKR Wanita today proposed changes to the electoral system to break the glass ceiling in Malaysian politics.

Its chief Haniza Mohamed Talha said among them was to select more than one representative for an area like the party-list proportional representation system where candidates were named in the form of lists and female candidates could be nominated alternately alongside male candidates.

“(In the first-past-the-post voting system), each constituency can only nominate one candidate, the effort to name more female candidates will receive resistance from many assemblymen or male leaders who want to be candidates,” she said when delivering her policy speech at the 2019 PKR Wanita Congress here.

Speaking in front of about 500 delegates at the congress themed ‘Women’s Leadership: Leadership for All’, she said PKR Wanita on May 22 had brought the proposal for non-constituency seats for women to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also the Women, Family and Community Development Minister.

To make that agenda possible, Haniza said PKR Wanita wanted all states to establish the non-constituency seats for women, in addition to the existing system, thus allowing the implementation of quotas for women and underrepresented groups such as Orang Asli and disabled people.

PKR Wanita also recommended the appointment of one woman senator from each state to increase female representation in the Dewan Negara.

Sharing data provided by the Inter-Parlimentary Union (IPU) on the number of women MPs, she said the mixed-member proportional (MMP) system with two ballot papers should be introduced in the country.

“Women need to be given equal opportunity to compete with men. We hope the Malaysian government will take this bold step in empowering women in and through politics,” she said.

Touching on the development of PKR Wanita, Haniza said the PKR women’s wing had reached a membership of 369,959 people, about 51 per cent of the current total membership.

On efforts to further strengthen the wing, she said PKR Wanita had formulated four main thrusts in the women’s development plan namely preparing for the IR4.0 challenge, empowering women economically, strengthening their position in society and creating more female leaders.

“To ensure the effectiveness of all four thrusts, the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) will be introduced to measure and monitor performance,” she said.

Later, in a press conference, Haniza said the proposal to improve the electoral system had been forwarded to the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) to be presented to the Election Commission (EC).

“We hope that all the proposals will be implemented in the next general election,” she said.

— BERNAMA

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