KUALA LUMPUR: Quotas are needed as a performance-based merit system does not work, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
In lauding Prime Minister Najib Razak’s proposal for a 30% quota for women representatives in the upper house, Khairy said it was good to have more women in the list of candidates.
“To be honest, you asked what I think about quotas. A lot of people say you should not have quotas, that it should be based on merit and so on.
“But I think we have heard that argument for such a long time and it just doesn’t work. So you need to have quotas.
“If you have quotas for affirmative action and for so many other things, so why not for women?”
Khairy said this during a session at the International Conference on Women in Politics 2017 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) today.
Present were Astro Awani executive editor Kamarul Bahrin Haron, Republic of Mauritius Vice-Prime Minister for Local Government and Outer Islands Fazila Jeewa Daureeawoo and Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) chairperson Noraini Ahmad.
Khairy pointed out that female representation in the Malaysian Parliament was poor and that they needed to start fielding more female candidates, even in Umno.
Earlier today, Najib said the Barisan Nasional government would consider increasing the quota of women representatives in the upper house, and that this could happen if the government gets a strong mandate in the coming general election.