While Pakatan Rakyat’s share of elected women’s representatives is higher than that of the BN’s, women’s representation in Parliament and State is still far short of the 30% target. Urgent electoral reform to introduce a proportional representation (PR) system is needed to increase women’s representation.

Media Statement by Teresa Kok, Lim Lip Eng and Dr. Ong Kian Ming in Kuala Lumpur, 13th May, 2013

In the recently concluded 13th General Elections, there were 56 female candidates out of 523 total candidates (10.7%) at the MP level, including independents and non-BN and non-PR (Pakatan Rakyat) parties. The BN fielded 22 female MP candidates. Pakatan also fielded 22 female MP candidates. At the ADUN level, there were 112 female candidates out of 1210 total candidates (9.3%). Pakatan Rakyat (PR) fielded 55 female candidates at the ADUN level while BN fielded 49 female candidates at the ADUN level.

In terms of elected representatives, 13 out of 133 BN MPs are women (9.8%) while 9 out of Pakatan’s 89 parliamentarians are women (10.1%). At the state level, Pakatan’s women representation is higher than BN’s.  32 out of Pakatan’s 229 ADUNs (14%) are women while only 26 out of BN’s 275 ADUNs are women (9.5%).

In terms of the breakdown of women representatives within the BN, UMNO clearly dominates. For example, 8 out of 13 BN female MPs (61.5%) and 25 out of 26 female ADUNS are from UMNO (96%). In Peninsular Malaysia, all 8 women MPs and 23 ADUNs are from UMNO. In other words, MCA, GERAKAN and MIC failed to have a single woman MP or ADUN elected into office in Peninsular Malaysia.

In contrast, the distribution of female MPs and ADUNs is much more even within Pakatan. Of the 9 female Pakatan MPs, 3 are from PKR, 2 are from PAS and 4 are from DAP. Of the 32 female Pakatan ADUNs, 8 are from PKR, 6 are from PAS and 18 are from DAP.

Of DAP’s 15 ADUNs in Selangor, 5 or one-third are females. Of the DAP’s 12 ADUNs in Johor, 4 are female. In addition, for the first time in DAP’s history, 3 female Indian representatives were elected into office, namely, Kasturi Patto (P46 Batu Kawan, Penang), Kamache A/P Doray Rajoo (N35 Sabai, Pahang) and Mary Josephine Prittam Singh (N22 Rahang, Negeri Sembilan). In addition, DAP also successfully fielded two women candidates in the same area – Teo Nie Ching in P163 Kulai and Wong Shu Qi in N22 Senai – both of whom won their seats with more than 10,000 votes.

The DAP will continue to work hard in order to attract more capable female members into the party with the intention of fielding them in the next general election. The DAP is committed to increasing the opportunities for women leaders and candidates to gain political experience and exposure. For example, Teresa Kok, Lee Kee Hiong and Kasturi Patto gained invaluable experience as Lim Kit Siang’s political secretaries / assistants before they were elected into office. Mr. Lim also recently appointed Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud as his political secretary for Gelang Patah.

The eventual goal is to achieve at least 30% female candidates and elected representatives. In order to achieve this, there needs to be a reform of the electoral system to a Proportional Representation (PR) system, which has been proven to be effective in other countries such as Norway and Finland to increase the number and % of female elected representatives.

Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh, Lim Lip Eng, MP for Segambut, Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang

Appendix 1: List of Pakatan female MPs

Appendix 2: List of Pakatan female ADUNs