Our Team

Angela M. Kuga Thas
Executive Director

 

Angela is the Executive Director of EMPOWER and has extensive experience in promoting human rights, both nationally and internationally. She draws her knowledge and expertise through previous work experiences and her networking with human rights advocates in the field of gender and information and communication technologies; sexual and reproductive health and rights; women’s rights and the CEDAW Convention; human rights based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; poverty alleviation; HIV and AIDS; and social entrepreneurship. There are times when she wishes she can just take all of EMPOWER onto a live-in caravan and be more accessible to women and the communities we work with. Describing herself as a builder of hope, Angela is passionate about the power of narratives and alternative learning methods to advance human rights, gender equality and non-discrimination. She secretly wishes that she could sign off on all communications as “A boardgame geek, a wanna be musician and an artist waiting to be discovered”.

 

Leong Mee Nan @ Mei Yun
Senior Finance Officer

 

Mei Yun is the Senior Finance Officer with EMPOWER Malaysia. She has extensive work experience handling the finance administration of NGOs since 1993, especially on financial management, handling the full set of accounts, office administration and payroll. Mei Yun is a perfect fit for EMPOWER due to her experiences, and the fact that she studied gender studies, human rights and poverty alleviation in various stages of her employment. When not caught up with work, Mei Yun enjoys talking to her cat and succumbing to the delights of television. Mei Yun loves it when individuals and corporations donate to EMPOWER.

 

Mastura M. Rashid
Communications & Outreach Manager

 

Mastura manages EMPOWER’s communications and outreach, including our internship and volunteer programmes. She is very passionate about women’s grassroots activism, and her mission in EMPOWER is to get more women to be changemakers and lead communities through high-impact communications and community outreach. When she is not communicating in feminist lingo, Mastura enjoys long drives, virgin mojitos and folk music. Mastura can be contacted on email at co_manager[at]empowermalaysia[dot]org.

 

Siti Nor
Administration Officer

 

Siti is the Administration Officer of EMPOWER Malaysia since October 2013. She highly supports human rights, and that is why she loves her job. Through EMPOWER, she gained invaluable experiences that helped her develop her knowledge and understanding of a range of human rights issues. She feels that she has gained this knowledge and understanding because of the numerous opportunities offered through EMPOWER for continuous learning. Siti especially enjoys networking with Orang Asli women and communities for the organisation’s Women’s Political Participation programme’s purposes and activities, when she gets to learn about their culture, and the issues they are passionate about. Siti can be reached at info[at]empowermalaysia[dot]org.

 

 

Serene Lim
Research & Resource Development Officer

 

Serene is the Research and Resource Development Officer for EMPOWER Malaysia. Through her work in EMPOWER, Serene found her passion in learning about the interrelation between ICTs, women’s rights and feminism, much like how the internet has allowed her to explore her identity, goals and a world beyond imagination. She has a not so secret crush on Jill Soloway and believes that storytelling can effect change much faster than politics. Serene can be contacted on email at apcimpact[at]empowermalaysia[dot]org

 

Rizal Rozhan
Advocacy & Capacity-Building Officer

 

Rizal is our Advocacy and Capacity-Building Officer focusing on matters regarding State Accountability, specifically on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the internationally agreed upon Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He believes that good governance and death of patriarchy in Malaysia are the keys to ensuring women’s political participation. In his free time, he may be found in jungles, nearby waterfalls, on top of a random hill; or at least he wishes to be. Rizal can be contacted on email at upr[at]empowermalaysia[dot]org

 

Our Executive Committee Members

 

President: Janarthani Arumugam

As a Campaign Coordinator, Jana developed and managed the ‘Save Our Rice” Campaign. Using her research skills she developed a concept paper as well as the communications strategy which included raising the profile of the campaign via social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook).

 

During her career as a Research Assistant in the Gender Studies Department of the University Malaya, she developed and compiled literature review for research projects, conducted library and archival research as well as planned and conducted fieldwork in 4 states. She also developed and implemented research instruments, and presented research methods at a conference in York University, Canada (2014).

 

She has conducted feminist participatory research in the South of the Philippines and North Indonesia. During her stay, she networked with local labour unions and community organizers to study women workers. She also developed capacity building workshops to facilitate women worker’s empowerment. Jana wrote and published a paper on the topic.

 

Vice-President: Wong Kar Fai

 

Treasurer: Normawati Ghazali

Atie is a great community organiser and managed the grassroots women’s leadership development programme in the constituency of a Member of Parliament, with particular emphasis on women’s political participation. In her programme, she emphasises on building self-confidence and self-development to increase women’s participation in decision-making to ensure quality women leaders are selected to meet the community needs.

 

She was also involved in setting up Pusat Wanita Berdaya (Community Level Women’s Empowerment Initiative) and mentored women leaders through leadership programmes, economic empowerment activities and community development skills.

 

Secretary: Lau Shu Shi

Shu Shi was instrumental in developing the women’s political participation programme in EMPOWER since 2012. Her key contributions are developing, enhancing and promoting the programme among political parties in Malaysia, which enabled more than 700 women nationwide to be trained in political campaign strategy. This included women party members as well as women community leaders. She also conducted a capacity-building training for the Members of Parliament in Timor Leste.

 

As part of the SEA Women’s Caucus (Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Timor Leste and The Philippines), Shu Shi and her team convened a meeting of members of parliament and senators to push the agenda for at least 30% women’s quota at all levels of government.

 

She was a regular columnist for a mainstream mandarin newspaper in Malaysia where she published articles on feminist thinking and women’s rights. She regularly conducts trainings on women’s human rights and CEDAW.

 

Ordinary Member: Gayathry Vekiteswaran

 

Ordinary Member: Pook Li Yoon

Li Yoon is a key contributor to the development of Women’s Political Participation programme at EMPOWER. The program was developed in 2009 involving cross party training for women politicians from the grassroots to key leadership positions. Approximately 700 women were trained on strategic campaign planning, women human rights, community development and organizing nation-wide.

 

Among the outputs of the programme was a video, Tanpa Wajah (Unseen Faces) which received the award “Best Malaysian Film” at the Freedom Film Fest 2013. In addition to this, a comprehensive online map of elected women representatives at the state assembly and parliamentary levels was established in 2013 (currently being updated). It was referred to at a multistakeholders’ discussion in June 2013 where UNDP officers and academics extrapolated gender disaggregated data from the “Equality Under Construction: Monitoring Women’s Political Participation” website to understand women’s political participation in the Malaysia context.

 

Li Yoon also oversaw the Gender Equality programme which produced a book, “Equality Under Construction: Women’s Human Rights Report 2010/2011” which was used as a reference for the Malaysian CEDAW Shadow Report 2013.

 

As part of the Good Governance programme she coordinated research and writing of a paper on Local Council Elections and the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2008. Other activities included institutionalising reforms at the local government level and conducting good governance training for various state agencies in Selangor. She also oversaw the Public Education programme organized by Empower which included trainings on gender, democracy and leadership with students and the community.

 

Ordinary Member: Chuah Siew Eng