KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Do not use the religious agenda when it comes to protecting women’s righta, said Petaling Jaya Member of Parliament (MP) Maria Chin in referring to the remarks of a parliament member from PAS over a RM20,000 allocation for Sisters in Islam (SIS).
“It is high time that PAS starts placing more importance in understanding the welfare work that SIS does and not demonise the organisation,” she said in a statement today.
Maria was commenting on the remarks made by Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff who questioned the allocation by the Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh for SIS.
“Siti Zailah’s recent remarks in the Dewan Rakyat over the allocation was nothing more than an attempt by PAS to nudge the government towards selective and preferential distribution of funds based on religious and ideological beliefs,” she added.
Furthermore, SIS has been promoting equal rights in Malaysia through its free legal clinic known as Telenisa that helped 8,400 people since 2003 from all over Malaysia, including those from Kelantan, in matters of Islamic family law and Shariah criminal offences, she said.
She added that at least half of these women earned below RM2,500 each month and could not afford the legal fees necessary to navigate the complex shariah legal system that differed from state to state.
On Thursday (March 28), Yeoh told Dewan Rakyat that the RM20,000 donated to SIS was from her own allocation as a deputy minister and not from the ministry’s funds and that the allocation was in support of SIS’s work in gathering data and statistics on Muslim women, and in aiding Muslim women. — Bernama