WFD is implementing a programme to support the parliament in Malaysia as it introduces a series of reforms. These reforms aim to restore parliament at the centre of the country’s political life and make it relevant to the people. The programme has engaged with the parliamentary leadership, the newly formed committees as well as with the secretariat.
WFD recognises the different needs and diversity of the country. As part of the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy Programme (CP4D), WFD is piloting a programme with the Sabah Women Resource Group (SAWO) in Kota Kinabaluto support their capacity to promote gender equality in their state. A key component of the programme is strengthening the links with established civil society organisations in Kuala Lumpur as they develop and refine advocacy strategies to promote gender equality.
The 9 May 2018 elections brought the first change of government in Malaysia after 61 years. The new government outlined in its manifesto Promise 16 “Restore the Dignity of Parliament.” This has created space for parliament to initiate institutional reforms. WFD has contributed to the initiative by sharing parliamentary developments and innovations from its network, always ensuring that the reforms implemented are owned, driven and respond to national demands. This is important as parliaments are organic bodies and need to be in line with their particular social and political environment if they are to fulfil their legislative, oversight and representative functions.
The State of Sabah, in the Island of Borneo, joined the federation alongside Sarawak in 1963 to create Malaysia.
In Malaysia, WFD is :
- Enhancing the capacity of Parliament staff to support Members (until March 2020);
- Engaging with Committees to provide technical support (until March 2020);
- Promoting enhanced accountability and inclusiveness in parliamentary processes and functions (until March 2020);
- Refining strategies and campaigns to promote gender equality in Sabah.