KUCHING: Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah has confirmed that the coming Sarawak elections would be her last.
“It’s true,” she told New Sarawak Tribune and its Bahasa Malaysia paper Suara Sarawak in an interview here today.
Neither confirming nor denying any new faces waiting in the wings, the Dalat assemblywoman said her only hope was for more female representation in politics.
“When one woman resigns, we hope another woman will replace her even if it’s not for the same position as long as the number of women in the decision-making level does not decrease.
“This is because we want to see more women leaders and eventually achieve the target of 30 percent female representation.”
Fatimah added that when it came to gender equality, women played an important role in bringing in a different perspective to a particular post or portfolio that could benefit society as a whole.
She stressed that the views of a woman would complement those of the men in order to enrich the services and benefits enjoyed by the community at large.
She also said the state government was all for more female representation and gender equality, commenting that conscious efforts started since the tenure of then chief minister, Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Fatimah acknowledged that women were not traditionally involved in politics in the past and there were many challenges for them.
“For example, Dalat constituency was previously always represented by men. So it is new to the people to see a female candidate.
“Many were sceptical at the time as I myself had experienced the doubts of the people on whether or not I’m able to ride a boat or walk on a jetty just because I’m a woman.
“There will always be a lot of challenges for a woman in politics, but at present, I’m happy to note that Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu is the party with the biggest number of female leaders.”
She also advised women that in order to gain the people’s trust, they must be well equipped, resilient and able to perform their duties when given the opportunity.