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MPWS says on new transformation
Published on: Friday, February 09, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Women's Advisory Council (MPWS) under the leadership of Datuk Dr Tarsiah TZ Taman has embarked on a new transformation where they believe "actions" are better than just "words or publicity".

Tarsiah who took over as MPWS chairperson last year said they have received many questions asking why MPWS is keeping silent over certain issues.

She went on to explain that MPWS is now placed under the Community Development and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

"We follow protocol and adhere to standard operating procedures. If MPWS does not actively participate in giving comments on certain controversial issues, is because it is already addressed by the Ministry

"We may be 'quiet' but we believe 'actions' are better than just 'words or publicity'.

We believe in walking the talk," she told a media conference at Wisma Wanita here, Thursday.

"We are doing a bit of transformation, from just being an advisory we think there must also be some action, a kind of action group, we plan projects, and we want the projects which are more on creating high impact results and not waste funds so that all women from all categories are covered," she said.

She said MPWS also applies the National Blue Ocean Strategy, where they collaborate with Federal and State government agencies as well as non-governmental organisation to prevent duplication of programmes.

"We use our public relation skills to establish the working relationship with relevant agencies, we also have financial aid from the State Government and are now working on obtaining assistance from the Federal Government, we have met several agencies and received encouraging support," she said without disclosing the amount given.

She also said that as an advisory body to the State Government on the welfare and development of women in Sabah and with the Sabah Women's Affairs Department (Jhewa) as their secretariat, they have come up with special projects which are sustainable and brings about high impact results.

"For this term (2017 – 2018), we have three iconic projects which received the blessings from Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and the ministry's minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad," she said.

The iconic projects are the Child Marriage Interactive Module, Women's Legal Aid Centre and Creating Millionaires Among Young Women Entrepreneurs (CreaM@YWE), in addition to other programmes conducted by their seven sub-committees.

She said the Women's Legal Aid Centre is scheduled to be officially launched in March 5, however Jhewa has already received 14 cases since the centre started operations in Jan 2, this year, adding that most of the cases are related to marital issues.

She went on to say that women in need of free legal advice can contact the officer-in-charge, Siti Hafsah Adenan, at 016 – 8339072, or go to the centre at Wisma Wanita's 2nd Floor.

For the Child Marriage Interactive Module, she said they hope to finalise it by end of February and hand it over to the Chief Minister by next month, while the CreaM@YWE training module will be finalised by Feb 22.

A total of 40 women aged between 18 and 35, who are already engaged in food, services and digital businesses, have been selected to undergo the training which they hope to roll-up by also by next month.

In addition, MPWS is in the midst of finalising its new strategic plans and in the process of appointing consultants to quote on further research, literature reviews, compiling data, and come up with the final Strategic Plans 2018 – 2025 which they hope will be completed by August.

Meanwhile, also present was MPWS Deputy Chairperson Datin Dr Lungkiam Dambul Dumaring and MPWS Media Committee Member Ellen Sikodol.

Dr Lungkiam noted that underage marriage is a major concern not only in Sabah but across the nation, with a total of 1,106 underage marriage recorded for Muslim marriages in 2014 and 714 for non-Muslims.

"The number of such marriages in Sabah however could not be obtained," she said.

The MPWS Media Subcommittee has also launched their Facebook page last year.

Those wishing to learn more about them can visit their Facebook page at Majlis Penasihat Wanita Sabah. - Sherell Jeffrey

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