KUCHING, Sept 15 — PKR Women chief Zuraida Kamaruddin today urged state Pakatan Harapan (PH) and rivals Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to field more women candidates in the coming state election.

She also noted that the ruling coalition GPS has not been fielding many women as candidates in the past elections.

“I am also disappointed with GPS for not appointing many women as state Cabinet ministers. At the moment, there is only one woman as a full state minister,” the Local Government and Housing Minister told reporters after opening Pakatan Women convention here.

The sole woman in the Sarawak Cabinet is Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, the minister of welfare, community wellbeing, women, family and childhood development.

“If we see in Sarawak over the last 50 years, there has been not more than one full minister being appointed at one time, compared to the numbers of exco members in Penang or Selangor,” she said.

“This is a weakness in the GPS government, and I do hope that Abang Jo will rectify this,” she said, referring to Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg by his moniker.

She reminded the chief minister, that although he is a veteran leader, would still requiring the support of women in administering the state.

She also requested state PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen to make sure that at least 30 per cent of the total elecion candidates from Pakatan are women.

Zuraida said women play an important role in the balanced development of not only in Sarawak, but also the country.

Earlier in her speech, Zuraida expressed her disappointment at a small number of women being appointed as councillors in the Sarawak local councils.

She said this could be seen in the small number of women councillors in major local councils, like Kuching South City Council, Kuching North City Commission, Samarahan Municipal Council, Padawan Municipal Council and Miri City Council.

Zuraida said she had made sure that at least 30 per cent of the appointments in the local councils in Peninsular Malaysia were women.

“This is the policy which I have introduced in the local councils,” she said.