“Wanita Suara Perubahan”
Women make up half the population of Malaysia. Our contribution is clear in the social, cultural, economic and political life of this nation, both before and after the independence of our country. Women are at the forefront of the concerns of Malaysians about the increasing levels of corruption, racism, exploitation, divisive politics and a curtailment of civil liberties. As a consequence, women and their families struggle to survive with their burden worsening day by day. There simply must be change and this can only come about with a clean government. Today, as part of the celebration for International’s Women’s Day, women stand united to voice out what we want for Malaysia.
“Wanita Suara Perubahan” call for:
A CLEAN GOVERNMENT
A clean government is an accountable government, adhering to the basic principles of good governance. This call for a clean government comes at a time when our national budget goes into increased deficit and when it has been projected that in less than 10 years the country will become bankrupt. The corruption and stacking away of people’s money by people in power is seen as a “right”. Women will, therefore, suffer most as they need to ensure food is on the table; that children’s health is taken care of; and that there is money to send their children for a proper education. Yes! Women will be the most affected.
Millions of ringgit have been lost that should have been spent on adequate housing, health, transportation, education, establishing decent living wages, and ensuring environmental protection. Instead, basic services are being privatised (e.g., health) and subsidies are being cut. Worker’s rights are being eroded, labour is being casualised and the rakyat are being told to cope and live within their means. Many families, including single parents, struggle to pay the rent, feed their children or access decent healthcare. Many women work long hours or hold two jobs to make ends meet.
A clean government must ensure safety and respect for women and all genders. It is, therefore, a growing concern that violence against women continues to be under-reported. In the last two years, 400 out of 1000 cases handled by an NGO showed that domestic workers are sexually assaulted, raped or molested in the homes they work. Too often we are told there are not enough shelters or service providers to attend to victims of violence against women and all genders. There is no support for sexual crime victims in court. The system is failing women and the people as crime increases.
A clean government is about building public confidence in key public institutions such as the Judiciary, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police force, which are meant to provide the checks and balances and ensure accountability and rule of law. Their effectiveness and impartiality are now in question. Women suffer the consequences of unjust laws as well as poor enforcement or lack of laws relating to women’s safety.
A clean government involves the participation of people, through consultations, especially with women, where there is opportunity for a variety of opinions to be voiced and dissent expressed. There should be freedom of information and freedom to assemble peacefully. Women’s opinions matter, our voices should be heard and our civil liberties respected.
Women have fought hard to realise equality. And we do have the power to bring about change. We reject all forms of sexism, racism, exploitation, corruption and divisive politics. The 13th General Elections will be held within a year and we will make a difference. We will vote for a clean government where good governance is ensured with transparency and right to information.
Wanita: Suara Perubahan calls upon all women voters to participate in the 13th GE and choose good leaders in both State and Federal governments, leaders who will accept and make our demands real.
As we celebrate International women’s day in 2012: WE DEMAND
- A GOVERNMENT FREE OF CORRUPTION: Accountability and transparency is institutionalised in all key institutions like MACC, Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). They must come under the Parliament and not under the Prime Minister’s Office. A Right to Information Act must be enacted. Make all government income and expenditure transparent; all ministers and senior officials at the federal and state levels must declare their assets.
- A DECENT LIVING WAGE: All women and their families enjoy decent standard of living and a decent living wage beginning with a basic minimum of RM1500 per month with increased statutory benefits being regulated for all workers.
- A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE: In order to achieve a higher quality of life for all especially the marginalised, all privatisation programmes related to health, transport and public housing must stop. The government must ensure access to health for all; decent housing for all; and effective and affordable public transport system.
- AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND ALL GENDERS: End violence against women and all genders, including children in all forms and increase access to justice for survivors of violence. An independent special commission has to be established to critically evaluate the situation, review all laws and develop effective reforms and mechanisms to ensure gender justice.
- REPEAL THE PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY ACT: Ensure our Constitutional Right to assemble peacefully is upheld at all times.
- A FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS: Ensure women’s right to construct a democratic nation with free and fair elections as stated in the BERSIH 2.0 eight demands.
Secretariat of Wanita Suara Perubahan
Address : Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER), 13, lorong 4/48e, 46050 petaling jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Phone : +603 7784 4977/6016 220 8784
Fax : +603 7784 4978
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
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Twitter : #wanitasuperMY