KUCHING: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Women chief Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah is coy on the number of women candidates from the party who will be contesting in the forthcoming state election.
She said the final list of candidates was the prerogative of party president and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“Who are the candidates, how many women, the age of the candidates, the eligibility of the candidates – these are solely the prerogative of the chief minister,” she said in response to questions from reporters at a press conference at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar here on Friday (Oct 22).
She however stressed that prospective candidates should be credible, able to serve the people and able to win in the election.
On Thursday (Oct 21), PBB secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said PBB had already finalised its list of candidates for the upcoming state election, adding that the list was decided by the chief minister.
On another note, Fatimah, who is also Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister, said that progress could be seen with regard to the participation of women in politics.
She pointed out that there was now an increase in women representation among assemblypersons, MPs, political secretaries and community leaders.
“There has been significant progress, but there is still room for improvement.”
She said in order to further improve the participation of women in politics was not just the role of PBB but other component parties as well.
“If the other component parties put in female candidates and these candidates win, then we will have a bigger number of women representation,” she said.
In terms of gender equality and the inclusivity of women in various sectors here, she said women were ahead of men in terms of education, but the involvement of women in politics needed to be enhanced.
“Of course, we want to see more women participating in politics,” said Fatimah.