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Malaysia should take a leaf out of UK on woman's representation, says Dr Julia Ongkili

                       Dr Julia Emelda Ongkili 

KOTA KINABALU : Malaysia, in particular Sabah, should aspire to increase women's representation in the legislative assemby and cabinet line up, said Sabah acting chair of the Parti Sedar Rakyat.

Dr Julia Emelda Ongkili said the country could emulate the new United Kingdom's PM Keir Starmer's act where he appointed a record number of female ministers in the UK cabinet.

"There are 11 female ministers out of the 23-member cabinet in the UK after their recent general election.

"The Deputy PM of UK is female and for the first time a female has been appointed as Finance Minister or Exchequer," she pointed out, referring to Angela Rayner and Rachel Reeves in their respective posts.

She further said: "Now forty percent of the UK's MPs or members of the House of Commons are female. To me this is inspiring."

"Our own electorates here have something to think and consider when our own general election comes," said Dr Julia in an interview with Borneo Herald here recently.

She said it was upsetting to see many political parties in Malaysia for a long time stated their intention to increase the numbers of women to 30% as per party's candidacy, but it remained just intention without serious action.

"Many women are as capable as men in almost all fields and this is particularly in leadership. In some areas, some women, could be more trustworthy than our average politicians.

"I am calling upon parties and leaders to trust our women and help pave way for them to come up to the forefront when the opportunities come," she said, adding that potential women also must be brave to offer themselves to lead.

Dr Julia also said that given an opportunity, capable women could really shine and make contribution to the country.

"Just look at one time Malaysia had Datuk Rafidah Aziz as International Trade minister. To me she really shined and did a great job.

"Closer to home in Sabah, during PBS rule, we had Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad as one of the deputy chief ministers. We should re-visit such an opportunity.

"Another well-liked female leader we once had in Sabah was Toh Puan Rahimah Stephens, a Kiulu BERJAYA assemblywoman from 1979 till 1985, and a state minister, who also inspired more women to get active in political leadership," she added.#

Datuk Yap Pak Leong is the original proposer of the 40% Sabah's right to revenues back in 1963

Datuk Zaini Aucasa introducing Datuk Yap Pak Leong at the talk in Likas today.

By Jayden Lisandu
KOTA KINABALU : Former leader of now-defunct United Party (UP), Datuk Yap Pak Leong, was the main proposer for the "40% Sabah's right to revenues derived from the state" which must be included in the IGC Report as condition to agree to form Malaysia, back in 1963.

Yap, who is now 89, said the late Donald Stephens then tasked UP to come with proposals to safeguard Sabah on financial matter in the new Federation to be formed with Singapore, Federated Malaya, Sarawak (and Brunei).

UP was then a political party of towkays mainly in Sandakan, he said.

"The late Peter Lo asked me and another to come up with a proposal. I was influenced by a formula Australia had then with its own states, as i studied economics in Australia," he said at his talk on the 40% issue at the Kota Kinabalu Wetland clubhouse in Likas near here today.

"I came up with the 40% condition, and then Peter Lo handed it over to Donald Stephens for agreement in the IGC and then incorporated in the Federal Constitution. That is how it came about," he told some 200 attendees.

According to Yap, Singapore put its condition to 60% state right to revenues and that Singapore was the one to collect the evenues (not the Federal) and later to remit the 40% to the central government.

Sarawak on the other hand, he said, agreed on a certain annual figures for five years, upon which the federal and state governments must review a new quantum every five years.

In 1976, Yap together with Stephens, Harris Salleh and others formed Berjaya and won the state elections that year and all subsequent state elections until 1985 when it lost power to PBS.

Throughout the period Yap was a state cabinet minister.#

Some of the pictures at the talk site :