(The Malay Mail) - PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT yesterday admitted it lacked charismatic women candidates for the next general election.
As a result, the party will only field a minimum of two women candidates in each state for the election.
The party’s Wanita chief, Zuraida Kamaruddin, also admitted the move of fielding only two women candidates is not ideal as it denied a 30 per cent representation of women in the decision-making process in the party.
“We don’t have women of a certain calibre who are willing to come forward to stand for election and take on a ministerial role if we win Putrajaya. We are struggling to find women who are able to perform at that level,” she said.
“What we have at the grassroots level is good but we definitely need more in order to progress and we would like to invite more people to join the party.”
Zuraida said the party’s marriage with DAP and PAS has enabled the coalition to provide adequate women leaders which could form the much-needed 30 per cent representation within a larger framework at the national level.
“For now we are looking to field no less than two candidates in each state and perhaps more in Selangor, Perak and Sabah because there are more women leaders in these states.”
“In the last general elections, we had two PKR women contesting in Penang but in Perak, we had zero. However, in Perak we can field four candidates now because we have more women leaders there.
“Judging from the composition in PKR now, we are able to field two candidates at least in each state,” she said.
She said there were more than 100,000 women members in PKR or one-third of PKR’s membership.
On the mechanism used by the party on fielding women candidates, Zuraida, who is also the Ampang MP, said women members were asked to go to the ground to determine areas where women can be listed as candidates.
“We design the plan to take into consideration places where there is a high tendency of party-hopping. Strategically, we believe we must put women candidates there because they are more trustworthy,” she added.
Refusing to divulge the seats designated for women, she instead said the trend and demography of areas prone to party-hopping were studied prior to the drawing up of the candidacy list.
“Women representatives are more hardworking and trustworthy. That is an internationally-acclaimed truth based on studies,” she told reporters after addressing 300 PKR members at the State PKR 13th General Election Convention yesterday.
Earlier, she said Malay women voters were not confident casting their votes for PKR because of ongoing intimidation that their family could lose governmental benefits.
“This includes the fear that their husbands could lose their jobs, their children could get their education fund withdrawn or they could lose their pension if they vote for us,” she said.