By THEBORNEOTODAY TEAM
PENAMPANG – DAP leaders are bold and walk their talk, and the struggle by women leaders for 30 per cent women participation in the leadership structure has resulted in a constitutional change within the party.
The party structure is simple and the leadership is strong and keen to develop women leaders and youths.
They are ready to provide space and programmes, said prominent activist Jannie Lasimbang as to why she joined the opposition DAP and not the other political parties.
“I also like the way in which they (DAP) are effective and timely in their actions to support the needs of rural communities,” said the former Suhakam Commissioner (for Sabah) and active leader in the Bersih Sabah movement.
She said she was attracted to the DAP’s long-term struggle and commitment to the people of Sabah and of Malaysia as a whole.
“The leaders and its members are serious in the way they approach issues, and their steady concern on indigenous communities, which is among the most marginalised group in Malaysia, is what I greatly admire,” pointed out Jannie.
In an interview with BorneoToday Jannie said she has been involved in NGO work since 1984, after completing her studies in the United Kingdom.
“My involvement began in 1985, shortly after PBS came into power and made this call to “bridge the gap between the rich and the poor”.
“I was part of a team that conducted a poverty study in the Kudat region between 1985 and 1987 but our recommendations did not survive the political interests at that time,” she said.
“I have since made it my personal commitment to work with indigenous communities, and it has been a fulfilling period working at local, national and international levels.
“The economic, social, cultural and political status of Sabah and our people is only getting worse. In January this year, I made my decision to go into politics and I chose DAP as my platform.”
Touching on her aspirations and plans in DAP, Jannie said her first task is to strengthen women’s input into the political leadership and the vision for women in Sabah.
“I am currently communicating with women all over Sabah to re-boot, establish or build where it does not exist, Wanita DAP in each of the five zones, by setting up a pro-tem Women’s Committee.
“These committees will then establish the pro-tem Wanita Sabah DAP and I expect this to be launched on March 18. This will be a platform for DAP women members to unite and plan our programmes.”
She stressed that her own aspiration is to enhance women’s political participation in Sabah in line with the call by DAP for more active women leaders.
“I want to be part of the team to elaborate on the struggle for the realisation of Sabah’s rights based on DAP’s New Deal for Sabah,” she added.