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Mother’s Day Message:

New Malaysia – A Step Closer to Gender Equality

12th May 2019

A Very Happy Mother’s Day to All.

I start my message with the above wishes today – the 12th of May – as it marks a very significant day for all of us, especially mothers throughout the land as the world celebrates Mother’s Day. It is on this day we celebrate and honor mothers, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

There is really no one as special as mothers and mother-figures and they are incomparable. Mothers are often the first people we see and know when we enter the world, and they love and care for us as we grow up from a child to adulthood. So once a year, countries around the world celebrate Mother’s Day in dedication to all mothers, so that we can show our appreciation and gratitude to the most important woman in our life.

It has been exactly a year since Malaysians gave the mandate for a New Malaysia and as state Exco for Women and Family Development, Gender Inclusiveness, and Religions Other Than Religion, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who had participated in the state’s efforts to bring about change and made possible many significant initiativeswhich touch the lives of women in the state. The collective effort by the state government, spearheaded by Chief Minister of Penang, with support from EXCO, ADUNs, state officers and PWDC had made such key changes possible.

For today’s Mother’s Day celebration and honoring of mothers in the state, I am very glad to share with you these initiatives which the state has achieved over the last one year:

  1. The 1st state to implement Gender Inclusiveness Policy to mainstream gender into all policies, programmes and practices of state government departments and agencies through Gender Responsive and Participatory Budgeting & Gender Balanced Management of 40% women: 40% men: 20% women and/or men.
  2. An allocation of RM 1.348m forthe country’s 1st Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Wanita & Keluarga(JPWK) at all 40 KADUN.
  3. Appointing 600 women community leaders for the 40 JPWK @KADUN to plan and organize women and family-related programmes.
  4. The Penang Goes Orange 2018 Campaign in creating awareness to stop violence against women and girls reached out to 67,483 on social media and 2,190 event participants.
  5. International Women’s Day Campaign in celebrating women’s achievement and contribution whichhas grown substantially over the years to see more than 100,000 reach on social media, 232,000reach via LED screen displays, 9,000 event participants as well ascoverage over TV and press in 2019.
  6. The party’s commitment of 30% women in appointment of local councilors in the next appointment, by DAP and potentially to be followed by other PH componentparties.
  7. The formation of ‘Penang NOW’ –a network of organisations forwomen in Penang – involving 19 key NGOs to create a platform for leveraging and synergizing to achieve greater impact.
  8. Launch of Family Focused Forum – Bridging the Gap to emphasize importance of family being together
  9. Formation of Women Talents Group comprising women who are movers and shakers of the community and society.
  10. The publication of 70,000 body safety booklets in three languages for teachers and parents to educate their children.

The above state initiatives are gifts from the state to all women and girls as we move yet again, a step closer towards achieving gender equality.

Despite what some quarters in society describe the celebration as being commercialized and has lost its authenticity, Mother’s Day will forever serve as a reminder of what mothers do for us. Even though we should daily spoil our mothers with hugs and small gifts throughout the year, this denoted special day gives us no excuse to express our utmost gratitude and love. So to all mothers, we wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and “I Love You, Mom”.

Thank you.