KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is prioritising people’s welfare when making preparations to face the Northeast Monsoon season, said Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun.

Asked about UMNO’s intention of having the 15th General Election (GE15) this year despite the prediction of heavy rainfall beginning early this month until next month, Rina said the welfare of the people and victims is the ministry’s top priority.

“Some of the PPS (temporary relief centres)  are also voting venues, if flooding occurred (during the GE15 period), which is more important, PPS or polling stations?

“Normally during the occurrence of floods, victims may not be able to save important items including their IC (identity card), no IC, how to vote?” she told reporters after attending a forum titled ‘Kepimpinan Wanita Dalam Politik: Memacu Realiti Peningkatan Perwakikan Wanita Dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke-15 (PRU15) dan Badan Legislatif’ (Women’s Leadership in Politics: Driving the Reality of Increasing Women’s Representation in the 15th General Election and the Legislative Body).

She said Social Welfare Department (JKM) is now 95 per cent prepared including getting the PPS and essential items ready.

Presently a total of 6,010 PPS have been identified and the number might reach to 10,000 centres across the country to ensure that flood victims are provided with the best comfort, she added.

Rina said she voiced the ministry’s position in the matter during a Cabinet meeting discussing the date for the dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for GE15.

Meanwhile, Rina said the ministry supported the setting up of a GE15 Civil Society Monitoring Committee under the National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO) to ensure that the target of 30 per cent of women fielded as candidates in general elections and the legislation could be achieved.

Currently, women’s participation as policymakers in the country is only 14 per cent, she said, adding that according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Malaysia ranked 103 out of 146 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2022 with a score of 0.681 and was ranked in eighth place out of ten ASEAN countries.

Rina said she hoped more women candidates will be fielded in the upcoming GE15.


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