History as Dr Wan Azizah chairs Cabinet meet, Hasnita joins female GLC bosses

Wan Azizah chaired a Cabinet meeting for the very first time earlier today. — Twitter screencap
Wan Azizah chaired a Cabinet meeting for the very first time earlier today. — Twitter screencap

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail chaired the Cabinet meeting today, making her the first woman to perform that role in Malaysia.

The deputy prime minister was covering for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is currently away for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“History was made, first time in Malaysian history a woman is chairing the Cabinet meeting, said a tweet on Dr Wan Azizah’s official account.

The Pandan MP had in May made history after she was appointed as the country’s first female deputy prime minister.

This comes as the Prime Minister's Office earlier today announced the appointment of Dr Hasnita Hashim as new chairman of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), replacing Umno’s Datuk Awang Adek Hussin.

Hasnita joins other high profile women appointed to influential positions in Malaysia’s government-linked companies this year.

In June, Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus was named as the new governor of central bank Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), after previously serving as a deputy governor before she left in 2016.

Meanwhile, former BNM governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz had been appointed group chairman of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) in the same month, replacing Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar.

Just last week, Datuk Hazimah Zainuddin was appointed chairman of Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB), replacing another Umno man, former Melaka chief minister Tan Sri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam.

In addition, earlier this month, Nik Amlizan Mohamed was made chief executive of Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), replacing Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamarudin who was previously the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chairman.

The Pakatan Harapan government has been criticised for failing to fulfill its manifesto pledge to ensure 30 per cent women representation in its Cabinet, with just five female ministers.

It has also been criticised for its handling of women issues, including child marriages and the protection of transwomen.

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