Where is 30% women representation in govt, asks activist

Activist Maryam Lee says Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail should not merely be a ‘seat-warmer’ for her husband, Anwar Ibrahim. (File pic)

PETALING JAYA: Activist Maryam Lee has applauded Pakatan Harapan (PH) for its quick action in bringing about change after the May 9 polls, but says the new government has yet to deliver on some of its promises.

Speaking to FMT, Lee, who is a #UndiRosak supporter, said it would be disappointing if the coalition failed to fulfil the pledges made in its election manifesto.

She said the people had chosen the new government and expected it to be accountable and listen to their grouses.

“I applaud the reforms that have been implemented almost immediately, such as freedom of the media, the prime minister not holding other portfolios and many others.

“I totally recognise that, and I am happy.”

However, she said, so far the explicit promise of a minimum 30% representation of women in the Cabinet had not been fulfilled by PH or the state governments under the coalition.

“Selangor only has two women excos and Penang is even worse, with only one woman exco.

“The fact is that 51% of voters are women. But we don’t even have the minimum 30% women representatives in the government as promised in the PH manifesto.”

Lee, who was part of an online campaign to boycott both Barisan Nasional and PH, said PH’s victory in the general election was a cause for celebration.

“Not being pro-Mahathir does not mean that I am not pro-democracy.

“I fully recognise that the people voted for a change in government and that is good,” she said.

However, she added that it was too soon to tell if the new government would be better than the previous one.

She also expected PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to have her hands full with the deputy prime minister’s portfolio.

“I don’t think that the prime minister and the deputy prime minister should hold more than one portfolio.

“She mentioned before in an international TV interview that she is okay with being just a seat-warmer for her husband, Anwar Ibrahim. It does feel like Anwar is the one running the show for her.

“I don’t think that is fair to her at all. I think that she has every potential to be a formidable politician, without Anwar.”