LAW MAKERS.... From left, Rosnah Shirlin, Jainab Ayid, Azizah Dun, Tsen Thau Lin.
By : ELAINE MAH
SOME 168 women candidates contested for parliamentary and state seats in the election last Sunday. Alhough support for women candidates from voters were generally good in Sabah, the large number of women candidates did not translate into anything near the the 30 per cent target for women in decision-making positions.
In Sabah, eight women candidates were voted in, three for parliament and five for state constituencies. In total, Sabah has 25 parliamentary seats and 60 state seats.
Of the eight women candidates, seven are from Barisan Nasional (BN) - six incumbents and one newcomer. The incumbents who won include Datuk Rosnah Shirlin holding the Papar parliamentary seat, Tsen Thau Lin of the Batu Sapi Parliamentary seat, Datuk Azizah Dun from Beaufort, Datuk Hamisa Samat who held the Tanjong Batu state seat, Datuk Jainab Ayid the ADUN for Karambunai and Anita Baranting the ADUN for Tandek. Newcomer Datuk Mary Yap Ken Jin won the Tawau parliamentary seat in her first outing.
The eighth woman candidate, People's Justice Party's Christina Liew Chin Jin wrested the Api-Api state seat from Datuk Dr. Yee Moh Chai with a majority of 795 votes.
Though few women are in Parliament and the state assembly, the numbers are creeping up. Three women candidates will sit in parliament this time around as compared to two in the previous Parliament. (Insight Sabah).