MCLM candidate steps down

Haslinah Yacob bows out of MCLM due to a clash of priorities and unpreparedness for politics.

(Free Malaysia Today) – The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) has lost one of its four candidates for the 13th general election after Haslinah Yacob withdrew her candidacy last month.

Haslinah, who was introduced as MCLM’s third candidate in January, was the movement’s first female candidate and was scheduled for deployment with the others in March.

The 49-year-old former Awam president was reportedly handpicked by MCLM president Haris Ibrahim for her dedication to grassroots and advocacy work on women’s rights and empowerment.

FMT understands that she was slated to contest in Wangsa Maju where she would have faced incumbent Wee Choo Keong.

However, Haslinah decided that she was unprepared for the political arena and informed the movement that she was pulling out last month.

“I made the mistake of taking on two new things this year; the candidacy in January and the opening of a women’s shelter in April,” she told FMT.

“Suddenly I found myself being stretched too thin and I was overwhelmed by the demands from both sides. I had to ask myself which one took priority and it was the shelter.”

Haslinah also admitted that she belatedly realised the challenges that came with starting from scratch in an unfamiliar constituency.

A decade of social work had taught her that making inroads into the grassroots was a lengthy process and speeding it up in time for the general election was simply not feasible.

“It was a a very difficult decision but I truly felt that I would be short-changing MCLM and my constituency if I went ahead,” she said. “I believe someone else would be able to better serve the constituents at this point.”

“I’d also like to make it clear that this has nothing to do with MCLM and I continue to support the movement and its ideology a hundred percent.

“It was a personal decision and yes, I’m very disappointed with myself.”