The 15th general election (GE15) has attracted 127 women in parliamentary contests and 60 female contenders for state seats in Perlis, Perak, Pahang and the Bugaya state by-election in Sabah.
Pakatan Harapan (PH), which consists of PKR, DAP, Amanah and UPKO, is fielding 39 women in its 205-candidate line-up, with its Tanjong Karang parliamentary candidate vying on the ticket of ally MUDA and the Lanang parliamentary candidate in Sarawak using the DAP logo.
Barisan Nasional (BN), which consists of UMNO, MCA, MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah, has 22 women among its 178 candidates.
Perikatan Nasional (PN), which comprises Bersatu, PAS and Gerakan, is fielding 16 females among its 149 candidates. Two of them, in the Tumpat and Rantau Panjang parliamentary seats, will use the PAS logo.
Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA), which consists of Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra), Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and National Indian Muslim Alliance Party (IMAN), is fielding 16 women out of 116 candidates contesting, with all of them using the Pejuang logo.
A total of 10 women are contesting as independents while Parti Warisan is fielding six women candidates and the rest are from other parties.
Peggy Chaw Zhi Ting, 23, an independent candidate for the Tenom parliamentary seat, is the youngest female contestant while Datuk Christina Liew, 70, the PH-PKR candidate for the Tawau parliamentary seat, is the oldest.
The female candidates come from various backgrounds and academic qualifications, with some working as lawyers, doctors and holding key positions in the parties they represent.
They include Dr Noraishah Mydin Abdul Aziz, a person with disability (PwD) who is a professional, proving that Malaysian politics is becoming more mature and open.
Noraishah, who suffers from spina bifida since birth, is contesting the Putrajaya parliamentary seat under the PH-PKR ticket against five other candidates, including incumbent Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor from BN.
In addition, former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (picture), who is also PKR Advisory Council chairman, is contesting the Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary seat against candidates from BN and PN.
Incumbent Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said is defending the seat on a BN ticket while incumbent Ampang MP Datuk Zuraida Kamarudin is defending the seat on a Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) ticket.
For state seat contests, the youngest female candidate is Hooi Mi Suet, 29, from Warisan, who is contesting in Simpang Pulai while the oldest candidate is 66-year-old Ng Wah Leng from BN-MCA for the Keranji seat, both in Perak.
The Bugaya state by-election will witness the participation of a single female candidate, Nazmahwati Walli, 43, from PBM. — BERNAMA