KUCHING: Sarawak would seek to have 30 per cent women in decision-making positions by 2025, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
However, he pointed out that women’s success in both public service and the corporate world was not just about the percentage of their representation, but more about the results or outcomes.
“I will look into the matter raised by one of the panellists today and we will try to find the solution so that the level of women’s participation in decision-making will reach 30 per cent.
“For Sarawak, I believe by the year 2025, we can achieve that 30 per cent,” he said during ‘Voices to be Heard’, which was held in connection with the Women’s Leadership Training Programme here on Friday.
Abang Johari said women could one day hold the posts of Malaysian Prime Minister or Sarawak Chief Minister if they could perform well, balance the needs of society, and bring about change.
He cited the case of New Zealand, which is currently under its third woman prime minister, despite having a higher population of men than of women.
“One day, during this new era, women in Sarawak can lead the state because during the digital era, it is no longer gender-biased and neither (will it be) racial-biased. I may be wrong, but it is the future because the landscape has changed, because we are no longer in the old ways, because we are exposed to information – everybody is exposed to new technology,” he said, adding that 30 per cent is an appropriate starting point.
Abang Johari said Sarawak could not run away from such developments and therefore, it was important for the government to have the right approach towards women.
On selecting women candidates for elections, Abang Johari said they must first get clearance from the potential candidate’s husband.
“As we all know, in politics, sometimes we are called at midnight and stay up until late night during campaigning or after winning the election. These are the circumstances faced by women – understanding (is needed) from the husbands,” he said.
Abang Johari added that the children of potential candidates must also be grown up.
“So, we have to be careful in deciding on any woman candidate. If a woman wants to be in politics or become a candidate, they must meet these criteria,” he said.