Media statement by Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and Publicity Secretary of Wanita DAP Kasthuri Patto on Sunday 27 August 2017 in Batu Kawan, Penang.

Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday announced yesterday that he will helm the post of the Chairman for the MyWIN Academy Advisory Council while Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing takes charge as deputy chairman.

The goal of this council is to help the Governments 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 Chairman 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? Not even from the sole Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, the 2 female Ministers in the Prime Ministers Department, and the 5 female Deputy Ministers in the Cabinet who, in the opinion of the PM is incapable of leading this council?

This isn’t just mockery and an insult by the former Minister of Women’s Development, Najib Razak when he took on that role in 2012 which was a public betrayal of the women’s agenda, replacing Shahrizat Abdul Jalil whose senatorship term expired the same time.

5 years down the line, Najib Razak has proven that his hollow words that the BN government is determined to to increase women in decision making positions has been reflected in his power grab as the Advisory Council Chairman rather than a woman determined to uplift, uphold and defend women empowerment and gender equality.

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 Chairman to the Advisory Council is also a man!

Why must former ministers (some embroiled in financial scandals and corruption) enjoy being recycled goods to fill up high government posts and decision making positions as seen in the appointment of Tan Sri Isa Samad from the post of FELDA Chairman to SPAD Chairman, the appointment of former Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to Advisor on the Women Entrepreneurs Development of the Prime Minister’s Department and the Prime Minister himself, a recycled former Women’s Minister to become Chairman of the Advisory Council of MyWIN?

I find it illogical that the Prime Minister continues to be a Chairman to an advisory council that is parked in his own department rather than appoint a woman from the academic field, or even from the NGO sphere to lead it.

In July this year, Najib Razak 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 on Government agencies and their arms and would like to nominate the MyWIN as the first in this ‘name and shame’ effort by allowing the position of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the MyWIN Academy be held not by women but by men, one of which is the Prime Minister who is also Finance Minister and the latter being the founder of Lim Kok Wing University and former PR Strategist to the Prime Minister.

Kasthuri Patto

Member of Parliament of Batu Kawan

Publicity Secretary of Wanita DAP