MALAYSIAN women in Sabah deserve to be represented by political leaders that genuinely respect us and our contribution to the nation. Although all political parties profess to do so, there are still a considerable number of politicians in the Dewan Rakyat who are sexist and prejudiced against women.
Over 2012, a number of public figures, particularly politicians, have made statements that are uncouth, hurtful and disrespectful to women. These sexist remarks and jokes are designed to belittle, control, embarrass or hurt women. This is the first step to condoning violence or prejudice against men or women.
While it is noted that the Dewan Rakyat had adopted an amendment to its rules to prohibit sexist remarks in the House under Standing Order 36(4) on 27 November 2012, this does not stop an MP from uttering sexist slurs outside the House.
It is unacceptable for any State representatives to be excused for using profanities, whether in Parliament or in public. All forms of discrimination, whether sexist or racist, should not be tolerated.
As a representative of the people, MPs are expected to maintain a high standard of professionalism at all times. SAWO is appalled to note that a certain MP known to be sexist and foul-mouthed, has been selected once more as a candidate in the upcoming general election.
Political parties should eliminate all forms of sexism from their ranks, by screening their candidates to ensure that they have a good and above all, gender-sensitive track record.
SAWO calls upon all Malaysian voters in Sabah to reject politicians that portray a sexist behavior. If they don't respect 50% of the population, they cannot be allowed to represent us.