PKR Wanita suggests more women to represent non-constituency seats

Haniza (in white scarf) with national and state PKR leaders cutting a cake to launch Sarawak Wanita PKR annual general meeting.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Aug 24: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) women’s wing has urged Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to appoint women to represent new non-constituency seats.

National PKR wanita chief Haniza Mohd Talha said a reform in women representation in the nation’s decision making body is much needed.

Wanita PKR is proposing that women leaders and lawmakers be appointed to the seats without having to contest in an election, which included Sarawak.

“Women in Sarawak have contributed a lot to the community and this (proposal) was also to achieve 30 per cent participation of women in government and politics,” she told reporters after opening the Sarawak Wanita PKR annual general meeting here, today.

She said this form of appointment has been practised by Terengganu and Sabah.

Haniza (seated centre) with national and state PKR women leaders at a press conference.

Haniza, who is the assemblywoman for Lembah Jaya, added that if such practice is agreeable by the Sarawak government, they will have to amend the state Constitution to allow for such appointment.

Under the Sabah Constitution, the Governor, on the advice of the chief minister, may appoint not more than six nominated assemblyperson as members of the Sabah state legislative assembly and they also enjoy the same perks and privileges accorded to the elected representatives.

On June 5, Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the provision for the appointment of nominated assemblymen in the Sabah Constitution was meant to be an avenue for minority groups to provide input into political decision-making in the state.

Being the minority group, they are not represented in the normal democratic process of election because of their small numbers in the rural constituencies.

As for the coming Sarawak state election, Haniza revealed that they have identified at least six potential women candidates. Not revealing the details, she said they planned to contest in both urban and rural seats.

“We want to push for more women candidates and the reason we invited few male PKR state leaders to our AGM this time around was to lobby for that.

“We need a fair representation so that these women in state assembly can bring up matters related to us and our family,” she said. — DayakDaily