BATU PAHAT, Aug 12 – Umno is committed to have more women being fielded in the coming 14th general election (GE14) to achieve the 30 per cent of women as policy-makers. Umno vice president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the time had come for more women to become Members of Parliament, assemblymen or ministers in tandem with the country having attained 60 years of independence.
“In achieving 60 years of independence, we must change our mind and attitude towards women. When women work hard, don’t praise them (women) rhetorically, instead give them the chance to contest in the GE. Give them the position because women today are already at the professional level and can made good decision for the country,” he said.
He said this when officiating the Parit Sulong Umno Delegates Conference in Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Batu Pahat, here today. Also present were Johor Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Parit Sulong Umno Divisional chief Datuk Zulkurnain Kamisan. Ahmad Zahid, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said in the current situation of a borderless world and open skies, many women leaders in the Muslim world had begun to transform.
He said Malaysia was also pushing to promote the role of women in government. “In Bangladesh, they have as prime minister … Khaleda Zia, President of Indonesia … Megawati Sukarnoputri. God willing, Speaker of Singapore parliament Halimah Yacob will become president of Singapore. Together we pray,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia needed to take proactive measures in upholding women and, as such, he urged Mohamed Khaled to field suitable women candidates for the Parliamentary and state seats in the state. “Mohamed Khaled has to see that there are women candidates for the Parliament and State Legislative Assembly,” he said.
Meanwhile Ahmad Zahid also wanted the Johor Umno machinery, particularly Parit Sulong Umno members to be embedded with the spirit of Panglima Kiyai Salleh, who had fought against the atrocities of the communists in Batu Pahat in order to ensure the state Umno stronghold continued to remain strong. He said the spirit of Panglima Kiyai Salleh should be in every Umno member in line with Umno which had never once allowed Johor to be taken over by the opposition.
“I refer to the history of Panglima Kiyai Salleh because we often forget about history. How Panglima Kiyai Salleh remained high spirited as if he had a great army even though in reality the army was small when opposing the communists. The second and third generations of Umno leaders must take the spirit of Panglima Kiyai Salleh’s struggle as a new milestone of how Johor should be defended from enemies,” he added. — Bernama