THE Barisan Nasional government will consider increasing the quota for women representatives in the Dewan Negara if it gets a strong mandate in the 14th general election, said Najib Razak.
Speaking at the Women in Politics Kuala Lumpur 2017 conference, the prime minister said the BN government must get the required vote majority if such changes were to be made.
“If we get the required majority in the next general election, we could impose a quota for the upper house, that it must comprise no less than 30% of women senators,” he said when officiating at the international conference, held in conjunction with this year’s Umno General Assembly.
“I would like to see this proposal go through. That’s why I hope we get a strong mandate in GE14.”
Najib said the government could start with appointing more women with leadership skills as senators.
He said having more women in politics would better reflect the electorate, and make the political process more inclusive.
“Umno has long relied on its women’s wing to maintain grassroots relationships, particularly in rural areas.
“That is why Wanita Umno is known as the backbone of the party.”
He reiterated the government’s initiative requiring women to comprise at least 30% of the boards of directors of government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies, as well as statutory bodies, by the end of next year.
Najib added that he wanted women to make up 30% of board members of public-listed companies (PLCs).
“We are currently behind our target for this goal. I have warned that beginning next year, the government will name and shame PLCs that do not have women as board members. They may not be given government contracts.