No need for women’s rights movement in Malaysia, says PM

PETALING JAYA, Oct 2 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today dismissed the need for women’s rights groups in Malaysia, saying equality has been given “from the start”.

The prime minister today claimed Malaysia is even more advanced than developed nations in this aspect.

“In some developed countries, the men were allowed to vote before women but, in Malaysia women had the right to vote from the start,” Najib (picture) said at the Women’s Day celebration here.

“Don’t think that everything is better (in the developed nations) as we are way ahead especially in terms of women’s rights.”

Najib told the 3,000-strong crowd that the success of Malaysian women was well known “to the extent that the men are said to be an endangered species”.

He added the government works hand in hand with NGOs and the private sector in raising the position of women in policy making, as reflected in Budget 2013.

“We provide incentives like grants, double tax reductions and allowances to private early education centres so more can be built, and women can go to work,” he said.

“All companies and departments should have crèches and I believe the Chief Secretary can issue a directive on this.”

He said women have been contributing greatly to the nation, since even before independence.

Najib then challenged listed companies to appoint more women as board directors from among the 200 capable women trained under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

“We have targeted to train 200 women to be potential candidates for the board of directors in companies by end 2012. One hundred already trained (sic.),” Najib said.

He added there were many top women decision-makers in the public sector and it was now time for the private sector to appoint more women board directors.

“Ask the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry for the list of women.”



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