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Memo to the Finance Ministry

April 6, 2010

MEMORANDUM

mengenai

PENYEGERAAN PERLAKSANAAN GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGET (GRB) –

KEADILAN UNTUK SEMUA DALAM

BAJET NEGARA DAN RANCANGAN MALAYSIA

Kepada

KEMENTERIAN KEWANGAN MALAYSIA

Melalui

YB Senator Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin

Timbalan Menteri Kewangan II

Kementerian Kewangan

diserahkan oleh

Kumpulan Kajian dan Advokasi Bajet Gender

6 April 2010

PENYEGERAAN PERLAKSANAAN GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGET (GRB) –

KEADILAN UNTUK SEMUA DALAM

BAJET NEGARA DAN RANCANGAN MALAYSIA KE SEPULUH

Kumpulan Kajian dan Advokasi Bajet Gender meminta Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia menyegerakan proses perlaksanaan GRB secara substantif dalam pengolahan bajet negara dan Rancangan Malaysia yang akan datang.   Sebahagaian daripada GRB diharap tercatit dalam Bajet 2011 dan Rancangan Malaysia ke-10 nanti.

GRB merupakan suatu usaha yang berterusan yang bertujuan untuk mencapai kesempurnaan dalam pengagihan sumber-sumber dan khazanah negara secara adil dan saksama.   Justeru, suatu pendekatan yang bersepadu (integrated) dan sistematik perlu dibentuk untuk memenuhi hasrat GRB.   Pendekatan ini menuntut bahawa cabaran-cabaran berikut perlu ditangani dengan segera:

  1. Meningkatkan kesedaran, penghayatan dan keupayaan pegawai-pegawai Gender Focal Points dan Budget Review Officers yang harus diamanahkan untuk menjayakan GRB serta tugas-tugas yang berkaitan dengannya.
  2. Mewujudkan gender-segreggated data sebagai asas kepada analisa dan seterusnya pembuatan keputusan mengenai agihan pendapatan, sumber dan khazanah negara secara adil dan saksama kepada rakyat.
  3. Membuat peruntukkan belanjawan serta-merta mengenai kedua-dua perkara yang tersebut di atas (serta-merta dan berterusan).
  4. Membuat peruntukkan belanjawan secukupnya dalam setiap Bajet Negara dan Rancangan Malaysia akan datang sehingga GRB sempurna dilaksanakan di seluruh Kementerian, Agensi dan Jentera kerajaan Malaysia.

Belanjawan GRB meliputi proses penyediaan, perlaksanaan, pemantauan dan pembaikan yang berterusan.

Kumpulan Kajian dan Advokasi Bajet Gender menganggap bahawa dengan komitmen dan kesanggupan politik kerajaan Malaysia, GRB dapat dilaksanakan sepenuhnya dalam tahun 2013.

Ringkasan Cadangan Pelan Tindakan ke arah melaksanakan GRB:

cadangan Sasaran
1. memastikan kepakaran yang diperlukan dalam kerajaan berterusan
2. aggregated data yang ada dijadikan disaggregated – dalam projek GRB di lima kementerian Jun 2010
3. mengkaji semula metodologi untuk pengumpulan data 2011
4. memperkenalkan dan mengoperasikan GRB Tools/Software 2012
5. perlaksanaan sepenuhnya grb dalam projek GRB di lima kementerian 2013
6. pemantauan lima kementerian berkenaan berterusan
7. perlaksanaan GRB di semua kementerian 2015

Latarbelakang dan perincian kepada Memorandum ini dinyatakan dalam lampiran yang disertakan.

Kumpulan Kajian dan Advokasi Bajet Gender
ATTACHMENT

Gender-Responsive Budgeting: Equity for All

Memorandum on Recommendations for the Strengthening of the Policies and Implementation of Gender Responsive Budgeting into the

National Budget and 10th Malaysia Plan

Background

Broadly, gender-responsive budgets (GRBs) are important tools which facilitate the mainstreaming of gender equality and the realisation of women’s rights into a government’s planning, programming and budgeting. The objective is to enable fair allocation of resources.

National budgets have so far ignored the different and socially determined roles, responsibilities and capabilities of men and women hence leading to differentiated impact on both of them. For example, not allocating sufficient budgets to prevent an increase in women contracting HIV AIDS, who have no control over their reproductive health and rights.

Gender budgets are not separate budgets for women, or for men. It entails identifying and reflecting needed interventions to address gender gaps in government policies, plans and budgets. GRBs also aim to analyse the gender-differentiated impact of revenue-raising and expenditure policies in national budgets.

The idea of GRBs developed from the recognition that macroeconomic policies can narrow or widen gender gaps, especially in areas such as income, health, education, nutrition and public services, and can make the living standards of different groups of women and men better or worse.

Gender Budgeting in Malaysia

In Malaysia, the GRB initiative was started by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD). In 2004, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry implemented a project which piloted the testing of GRB in Malaysia, refining it later for implementation in five Ministries. They were as follows:

a) Ministry of Education;

b) Ministry of Higher Education;

c) Ministry of Health;

d) Ministry of Rural & Regional Development; and

e) Ministry of Human Resources.

With the ultimate objective of promoting gender mainstreaming within government, the project focused on training budget officers in the pilot ministries in gender budget analysis skills and developing gender-sensitive budget statements. To this end, the MWFCD in partnership with UNDP  produced a Manual on Gender Budgeting in Malaysia containing basic information and practical guidance on implementing GRB,  targeted specifically at practitioners, both of which were launched  in August 2004.

As a result of this earlier initiative, three Treasury Call Circulars on gender budgeting were produced, while training on GRB were carried out on an annual basis by the Institut Tadbiran Awam Negara (INTAN).

The Government’s initiative  to GRB was programmed to supposedly fit in  with its overall approach in enhancing economic governance and promoting gender equality as expressed in the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the Federal Constitution, and international agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Beijing +5 Platform for Action.

The reasons laid down for supporting the implementation of gender budgeting in Malaysia were:

  1. Gender budgeting aims to utilise the country’s human resources fully by promoting women’s participation in, and contribution to, economic and social life.
  2. Gender budgeting helps to optimise the country’s financial resources by matching budgets to plans, priority programmes, and projects.
  3. A gender-responsive budget helps the government to improve (a) prioritisation, (b) planning, (c) management of implementation, (d) monitoring and evaluation, and (e) impact assessment.

Furthermore, Malaysia has a mature and output-based budgeting system that can easily be adapted to accommodate gender elements. Its central ministries such as the Ministry of Finance and the EPU are moving towards a more analytical and long-term planning approach.

Despite such a conducive environment to implement gender responsive budgeting through the training of budget officers in the five pilot Ministries and the Treasury call circulars, there was little evidence which shows that gender responsive budgeting has taken place in Malaysia, particularly in the last 2010 Budget[1].

United Nations Country Team Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) Workshop,

10-11 March 2010

Recognising that much was still needed to be done for Malaysia to implement GRB, different groups of participants, who attended the workshop, agreed that there was a need for a Gender Responsive Budgeting Workshop based on the following premise:

  • An invitation from Y.B Dato’ Dr. Awang Adek Hussin, Deputy Minister of Finance  to Yang Berhormat Hjh Fuziah Salleh, MP for Kuantan to submit a memorandum  on the need to implement GRB into the 10th Malaysia Plan.
  • The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development’s focus on strengthening GRB in 2010.
  • The United Nations Country Team’s (Gender Theme Group)[2] focus on strengthening national policies and programmes on gender.
  • The United Nations Development Programme’s Director on Gender Policies, Winnie Byanyima’s visit to Malaysia and her international expertise and experience in facilitating GRB workshops.
  • The Members of Parliament from the Parliamentary Gender Caucus, civil society organisations (CSOs), universities’ and State governments’ interest in strengthening the implementation of GRB at the Federal and State level.

As such the workshop was hosted by the United Nations Country Team (Gender Theme Group) in partnership with Members of Parliament from the Parliamentary Gender Caucus and CSOs. The workshop was attended by 29 people from the United Nations, the Parliamentary Gender Caucus, Federal Government agencies including the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR) and Ministry of Health (MOH), State Governments, CSOs, women NGOs and the academia. It was facilitated by Winnie Byanyima with presentations made by the MWFCD and Treasury.

The main aims of the workshop were to develop recommendations by the Parliamentary Gender Caucus, civil society organisations, the MWFCD and the pilot Ministries on how GRB can be further strengthened in Malaysia by:

  1. Appreciating the national context of GRB
  2. Improving understanding of GRB
  3. Enhancing the capacity for gender analysis of sectoral policies and budgets
  4. Improving understanding of national planning and budget processes and identifying key entry points for GRB
  5. Assessing GRB progress and identifying challenges to the progress that is on-going
  6. Identifying actions to further institutionalise GRB

The workshop also identified the following key challenges of implementing GRB in Malaysia:

  1. Lack of monitoring, particularly on the implementation and compliance to the three GRB related Treasury Call Circulars
  2. Lack of understanding of gender concepts and issues among different levels of government officers
  3. Lack of sex disaggregated data required for a substantial gender analysis needed for the formulation of gender responsive budgets
  4. Lack of expertise amongst both government and other organisations in Malaysia on GRB.

Recommendations for the Strengthening of Policies and Implementation of Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB)

into the National Budget and 10th Malaysia Plan

Advocacy to implement Gender Responsive Budget  into NATIONAL BUDGETS AND 10th Malaysia Plan

Based on the identification of the challenges mentioned above, members of the workshop agreed to the following recommendations for submission to the Deputy Finance Minister of Malaysia for intervention into 10th. Malaysia Plan:

i)      GRB and gender analysis (targeted implementation: by 2012)

Broadly, Gender Responsive Budget (GRB) cannot be accurately formulated without the availability of comprehensive gender disaggregated data at all levels, sectors and regions. As such it is proposed that:

a)        Further comprehensive gender disaggregated data at all levels, sectors and regions including by age, ethnicity and State/district be generated.

b)        Funds to be allocated by the Ministry of Finance for this purpose, including the review of the methodology of data collection and an analysis on the kind of data which requires disaggregation. It is also proposed that five ministries are targeted for this purpose from 2010 onwards so that the data would be available for gender budgeting analysis by 2012.

ii)     Training
Members of the workshop agreed that there is still much need for the technical capacity of government officers to be built not only in understanding the importance and relevance of GRB but also on how to formulate and monitor GRB. Therefore, it is proposed that the following officers (at Federal and state levels) are trained on GRB:

  • Heads of departments
  • Senior staff members
  • Budget review officers

iii)    Strengthening training of GRB

In order to ensure that there are sufficient expertise and trainers with the ability to conduct GRB training, it is proposed that INTAN’s capacity be built further so that   it is able to undertake additional and continuous/regular GRB training for officers from all ministries.

iv)   Budget review process

Members also felt that a review process of national/state budgets based on GRB was essential before they are presented to the Cabinet/Parliament/State Assembly for approval to ensure that it they take into consideration gender concerns. It is thus proposed that the Ministry of Finance set up a GRB review committee that is able to evaluate whether or not national/state budgets have undergone the GRB process.

Furthermore, it was proposed that the Ministry of Finance and other Ministries       engage in consultations with GRB experts as well as CSOs prior to and during   planning and budget processes.

v)    Strengthening Treasury Call Circulars

Upon review of why there is limited compliance of Treasury Call Circulars, members suggested that the language used for in the Circulars should state that the implementation of GRB is compulsory rather than “encouraged” (digalakkan), to ensure that the circulars are complied to.

vi)   Advocating the importance and relevance of GRB

Members also felt that there needs to be continuous efforts to advocate GRB among government officials as well as MPs and proposed that a video be            developed as an advocacy tool.

Furthermore, it was opined that there also needs to be regular dialogues on the budget process as well as progress on the implementation of GRB in Malaysia among different groups i.e. government, GRB experts, CSOs, universities, Parliamentary     Gender Caucus and MPs.

Recommendations Due Date
1. Ensuring sufficient expertise within government Ongoing
2. Existing aggregated data to be disaggregated – in the five pilot Ministries June 2010
3. Review Methodology for DATA COLLECTION 2011
4. Introduce GRB Tools/Software 2012
5. Full Implementation of GRB in the five pilot Ministries 2013
6. Monitoring of the Five Ministries Ongoing
7. Implementation of GRB in other Ministries 2015

External advocacy on implementing GRB in Malaysia

Aside from recommendations directed to strengthening the Malaysian government’s implementation of GRB, members also agreed that action can also take place from outside the government through the establishment of a Gender Budget Research and Advocacy Group which is made up of all interested stakeholders, including CSOs, members of parliament, gender/GRB experts and key representatives from the MWFCD and the Ministry of Finance[3].

Broadly, the function of the group will be to:

  • Promote and lobby for the implementation of GRB
  • Conduct annual analysis on the priorities made in sector and national budgets and submit regular comments and reports to key stakeholders
  • Conduct research on special interest groups that are able to influence national budgets
  • Hold regular dialogues with the Government on GRB
  • Raise awareness on GRB among the general public

Conclusion

Overall, members of the workshop had a productive one and half days as they were able to deepen their understanding of GRB particularly in its application within the Malaysian context. A key success of the workshop was the active participation of different stakeholders who shared their knowledge and experience in the theories as well as practical implementation of the GRB. It is the strong hope of the members of the workshop that the recommendations in this memorandum are taken into serious consideration so that fair and gender-balanced national and state budgets are developed in the future.

PARTICIPANTS AT THE GENDER RESPONSIVE WORKSHOP

10-11 March 2010

Organised by the UN Gender Theme Group and UNDP Malaysia

Name

Organisation
Zuraidah Amiruddin Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD)
Nurulhuda Ismail Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD)
Juliana Hii li Li Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD)
Umi Fadhilah Hamzah Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD)
Salwani bt Rahmat Lembaga Penduduk dan Pembangunan Keluarga Negara (LPPKN)
Sandra Ch’ng Zhia Liin Ministry of Human Resources, Labour Policy Division
Sharifah Norfaezah Binti Syed Zainuddin Ministry of Human Resources,  Finance Division
Nazlina Ahmad Ministry of Higher Education
Harmiza Maula Mokhatar Ministry  of Higher Education
Norliah Abdul Aziz Ministry of Education
Sajidah Ibrahim Ministry of Health
Imee Shahnaz Ministry of Finance, Treasury
Akmal Nasrullah bin Mohd Nasir Selangor State Government
Zuraidah Kamaruddin Member of Parliament of Ampang
Rozaini Mohd Rosli Secretariat Wanita Selangor, Selangor State Government
YB Fuziah Saleh Member of Parliament , Kuantan
Y.B. Chong Eng Member of Parliament, Bukit Mertajam
Y.B. Fong Po  Kuan Member of Parliament, Batu Gajah
Dr. Cecilia Ng KANITA, Penang
Dr. Intan Osman KANITA, Penang
Maria Chin Abdullah EMPOWER
Steven Sim Good Governance and Gender Equality Society,  Penang
Pook Li Yoon EMPOWER
Rabiah Omar All Women’s Action Society
Salmah Salthimah Public Service Department
Nadia Miskimah Department of Statistics
Hasnah Hashim Wanita Keadilan
Yeoh Yeok Kim United Nations Population Fund
Anita Ahmad United Nations Development Programme
Tengku Aira United Nations Population Fund

[1] There is no strong evidence that a gender analysis was carried out in Budget 2010 about the different ways that expenditure would affect men and women, even though there were some allocation for women’s programmes.

[2] The UN Country Team Gender Theme group is made of different UN agencies in Malaysia including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

[3] Subject to the approval of Ministry management.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bei Suu Lan permalink
    April 14, 2010 11:12 AM

    To: All Malaysians with a One Good Heart,
    From: Ms Bei Suu Lan, NGO for Natives, KK, Sabah,
    Subject: Help the poor natives of Sabah,
    I came from Kedah to settle down in Sabah twenty years ago.I have seen with my own eyes the natives descending from prosperity to the living in the sewers.The politicians grew from rags to riches.The natives descend from a decent simple work status to living to the sewers.
    Why?Why?Why?
    It is because illegal immigrants has been given Real Residential Documents.They have been made real citizens.
    This enables them to compete and take away the jobs from all the local natives.
    I am in the hotel IT management line.I found that all my hotel clients employs immigrates with real documents.When they conduct job interviews they will just talk to the natives as a goodwill gesture.Then they will throw away the documents into some big box in the store.They will give all the jobs to illegals.I have seen it a million times.
    Look this is what is happening to the Sabah youths of today and the Sabah leaders of tomorrow. The future of Sabah has been sold to the foreigners by today’s politicians,

    Thursday February 25, 2010
    Scores of Sabah youths living like beggars in KL after losing jobs
    By MUGUNTAN VANAR and JOSHUA FOONG

    newsdesk@thestar.com.my
    KOTA KINABALU: They sleep along roadsides, parks or buildings and have to forage for leftover food.
    About 400 homeless Sabah youths are loitering around Jalan Masjid India, the Dayabumi Complex, Klang bus station and Bukit Nanas in Kuala Lumpur.
    Most of them come from the interiors of Sabah. One of the youths, Apai John from Tenom, said he had been without a job for four years.
    Their plight has been highlighted by the Catholic church and NGOs like the Kechara Soup Kitchen Society (KSK) and Street Fellowship.
    The NGOs claimed that the Sabahans roamed the streets and relied on free meals after they lost their jobs or were cheated by bogus employment agents.
    Bleak future: Some of the Sabahans seen loitering nearby Dayabumi Complex. Picture courtesy of Kechara Soup Kitchen Society.
    “Most of them are young – 16 to 25 years old – and are hoping to seek employment in the Klang Valley,” said KSK treasurer Julia Tan who leads her group of volunteers to distribute food to the homeless every Saturday and Sunday.
    “Those who are still unemployed mingle with the homeless in the city,” she added.
    “When I ask them why they choose to stay on, they said there are more opportunities here for them to earn a living,” she added.
    Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah recently said the Sabah government should assist homeless Sabahans to return home if the cases were genuine.
    Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said state Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun and state Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai would investigate the claims.
    “We will come out with some assistance to bring them home,” Musa said.
    “They can then find employment in the state,” he said.
    Musa advised Sabahans to be cautious about agencies offering jobs in other states or overseas.
    “They should only go to government-approved labour agencies.”
    He said some of these youths had become drug addicts.
    “As a result, they have lost their jobs,” Musa said.

    To all Malaysians,
    Please report all corrupted politicians,government officers and private people to the following agencies by phone and by emails,
    1) SPRM at Tel: 1800886000 and email: info@sprm.gov.my
    2) Prime Minister Office at Tel: 0388888000 and email: ppm@pmo.gov.my
    3) Bukit Aman Police at Tel: 0322626222 email: rmp@rmp.gov.my
    4)Registration office: pro@jpn.gov.my
    5)Customs: kastam@customs.gov.my
    6) Bank Negara: fiu@bnm.gov.my
    7)Income Tax: callcentre@hasil.org.my
    8)Home Affairs: pro@mois,gov.my
    9) MITI: webmiti@miti.gov.my
    10) Sabah local police: aduanawam@rmp.gov.my

  2. April 22, 2010 2:14 PM

    Debt consolidation by combining all your debts. For example, if you have store cards,Credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other debts, you probably pay hundreds or

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