Policy-Guided and Professional Political Participation
“政治策略局所展开的政策倡导工作将不只涉及中央妇女组的层级，也将动员州与区级妇女组在州议会或县市议会提呈建议与备忘录，一方面履行作为政党的角色，另一方面也达到整体政治培训与动员的效果。” - 周美芬
The Political Strategy Bureau brings together professionals in the respective fields to deliberate on various issues and conducts professional and strategic political analysis. Such initiatives aim to explore issues requiring reform and identify strategies in law-making and policy implementation processes, enabling Wanita MCA to substantially participate in such processes. In addition, it will promptly respond to any controversial issues and express its views to ensure “perfection, precision and promptness" as required by professionalism in politics.
“As a political organisation, Wanita MCA must keep abreast with the developments in the nation’s political, economic, cultural, education and other fields and play an active and leading role in political deliberation. In this respect, Wanita MCA has formed the Political Strategy Bureau to specifically study and explore topical issues, government policy implementation and bills relating to the rights of women and the people, politics, economy, culture, education and other areas and make known the stance and views of Wanita MCA on such issues."
In the short span of one year under the leadership of YB Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun as the new National Chairman, Wanita MCA has successfully projected a strong image in political deliberation by professionally collecting and studying input on various topics relating to education, religion, women and foreign spouses, and so on, and firmly making known its stance and views with solid practical and theoretical basis. It has not only played a leading role in rallying NGOs to submit memoranda to relevant authorities but has also formed a platform to jointly study topical issues with NGOs!
“The initiatives taken by the Political Strategy Bureau in political deliberation and policy making process are not confined to Wanita MCA’s central leadership. It will mobilize Wanita MCA at all state and divisional levels to present their recommendations and memorandum in the respective State Assemblies or District or Municipal Councils to discharge their role as a political party as well as to achieve goal of overall political training and mobilization.” – Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun
Significant Achievements by The Political Strategy Bureau of Wanita MCA:
In line with the overall objective of the Policy-Guided and Professional Political Participation, the National Wanita MCA formed the Political Strategy Bureau following election of the new committee last year. This Bureau is a Wanita mechanism for substantive intervention based on professional and strategic political analysis to effect changes in the implementation of policies which affect women and the general public. It advocates and lobbies for protection and promotion of rights and interests of all, particularly women through conducting research, deliberating and effective strategizing on various issues concerning women’s rights.
In the brief period of one year, the Political Strategy Bureau has actively and clearly made known Wanita MCA’s stance on a variety of national issues and recorded achievement in a number of issues.
Wanita MCA Central Committee members and women leaders of 12 Chinese Associations submitting the “Memorandum on Promoting Respect for Women to Uphold Gender Equality and non-discrimination in Parliament” to YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department on 15 Jan 2009 (top left), and to YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Pandikar Amin Bin Haji Mulia, Speaker of the Lower House (bottom right) and YB Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Abdul Hamid Pawanteh, President of the Upper House (bottom left) on 23 Feb 2009
Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Erina Loo, Chairman of MWTGA showing the letter from the Ministry of Tourism recognising MWTGA as an autonomous organisation independent from affiliation with the MTGC
拿汀巴杜卡周美芬颁发纪念品予出席交流的移民厅助理总监再迪（左三） Chew Mei Fun presenting a token of appreciation to En. Zaidi bin Yahya, Chief Assistant Director of Visa, Pass and Permit Division of Immigration Department. Looking on from left: Dato’ Michael Chong, Dato’ Leong Tang Chong, YB Senator Heng Seai Kie, Ms Fui K. Soong
1. Submission of "Memorandum on Promoting respect for women and upholding gender equality and non-discrimination in the Parliament and State Assemblies"
Prohibition on the use of sexist and gender discriminatory language in Parliament will be integrated into the existing Standing Orders upon the approval by the Dewan Rakyat following a Dewan Rakyat Proceedings Regulations Subcommittee meeting chaired by the Speaker;
The latest development is that the proposed amendments have been submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers for review.
Commitment from the past President of the Dewan Negara YB Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Abdul Hamid Pawanteh to amend the Standing Orders to safeguard the image of the Parliament and the dignity of members of Parliament of both genders. We believe this amendment will soon materialize following the appointment of MCA Secretary General YB Senator Dato’ Wong Foon Meng as the new President of the Dewan Negara.
2. Protecting and Promoting rights of women tourist guides in Malaysia
The recognition of the Malaysian Women Tourist Guides Association as an autonomous body by the Ministry of Tourism following a letter dated 26 December 2008 issued by the Secretary-General, allowing its members to renew their licenses without being affiliated to the Malaysian Tourist Guide Council which had rejected their application as an affiliate member;
The stern policy announced by the Tourism Minister YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen that licenses of travel agencies will be revoked if they continue to require women tourist guide/tour leaders to share the same room with their male colleagues on over-night assignments;
However, travel agencies have not fully adhered to and implemented the policy as announced by the Minister of Tourism as tourist guides are reluctant to report to any incident of non-compliance to the enforcement authorities for fear of losing their job. In this respect, Wanita MCA will continue following up the issue to ensure that the matter is resolved.
3. Advocacy opposing unilateral conversion of children to Islam when one parent converts
Wanita MCA played an instrumental role in facilitating briefing and discussion between key party leaders and non-government organizations were on the proposed amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 deliberating to retain good proposed sections and recommend amendments to proposed sections which are not in favour of the non-converting spouse and their children. This initiative was to ensure that proposed amendments will not affect the rights of the non-converting spouse, children and family members when a spouse converts to Islam.
4. Promoting and Protecting Rights of Non-citizen spouses of Malaysian and their children
A memorandum outlining key challenges; gaps in laws, policies and administrative procedures and recommendation on the right to stay, right to work and rights of children to a non-citizen parent will be presented to the Minister of Home Affairs. The memorandum is an outcome from the Forum/ Workshop on non-citizen spouses of Malaysian and their children which was held on 5 June 2009 and participated by the Foreign Spouse Support Group (FSSG), Wanita Section of Parti Gerakan and non-governmental organisations such as National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO), Women’s Aid Organisation, Family Law Sub-committee of the Bar Council, The Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Formosa Women Organisation of Malaysia. Subsequent to the forum/workshop, the drafting committee met several times to fine tune the final draft Memorandum prior to circulating to the participants for comments and feedback.
The memorandum highlights the legal loopholes, the rights of residence, employments of non-citizen spouses, and the rights of their children. Wanita MCA will meet the Minister of Home Affairs soon to present the memorandum.